The White House can’t seem to get anything straight.
President Trump and WH adviser Peter Navarro tried to blame the Fed for the stock market’s losing year.
Peter Navarro: “White House adviser Peter Navarro told CNBC he thought the Fed was the ‘predominant factor’ for recent stock market volatility.”
Trump: “President Trump late Wednesday blamed the Federal Reserve for triggering a steep stock sell-off earlier in the day, saying the central bank ‘is going wild’ with a ‘ridiculous’ series of interest rate hikes.”
BUT… WH economic adviser Kevin Hassett said Fed policy couldn’t be the factor driving the stock market sell-off.
Kevin Hassett: “I honestly think that you are right, that the futures markets, if you look at the federal funds futures, have had a pretty clear idea of what the Fed was going to do. And, you know, so that can’t be the thing that’s moving markets.” [Bulls & Bears, Fox Business, 12/17/18]
President Trump said the Fed should not “go by meaningless numbers.”
Trump: “I hope the people over at the Fed will read today’s Wall Street Journal Editorial before they make yet another mistake. Also, don’t let the market become any more illiquid than it already is. Stop with the 50 B’s. Feel the market, don’t just go by meaningless numbers. Good luck!”
BUT… White House advisers said the Fed should rely on their data.
Peter Navarro: “‘We have zero inflation for all practical purposes, so on Wednesday the only argument I am hearing for the Fed to raise rates is that somehow they have to exert their independence from the White House,’ Navarro told CNBC on Monday. ‘This is a bad argument. I think what the Fed should do is simply do what it says it’s going to do, which is look at the data.’”
Larry Kudlow: “While the president respects the central bank’s independence, he has been suggesting for a while that ‘the Fed should not be too tight,’ Kudlow said. ‘Looks like the Fed, on its own making its own decisions based on their data read, it looks like they’re coming to the same conclusion.’”