Trump decided to give the Washington Post a 20-minute interview to rant about several sensitive issues. The Saudi Arabia debacle was one issue, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell as another. Trump nominated Powell last year when Janet Yellen’s term ended. Yellen hoped for another term, but Trump wanted to put one of his people over the Federal Reserve Board. But less than a year after Powell took over, Trump claims his man, Jerome Powell’s decision to raise interest rates hurts his economic agenda. Mr. Trump thinks Powell is way off base because his gut instinct tells him more than anyone else’s brain can tell him.
The Post asked Trump about the recent stock market tumble. Trump claims Powell’s inflation-fighting interest rate hikes in 2018 did a number on the stock market. Trump likes to brag about the stock market’s strength, but Trump claims Powell’s decision to stop inflation before it starts makes no sense to his gut instinct. Powell recently said the Feds may raise interest rates four times in 2019. Trump knows that move could turn his economic wins into major league losses. He wants his voter base to know it’s Powell’s fault, not his if the economy slides into a recession on his watch.
The word recession seems to come up more and more these days. The trade war with China, the unrest in the European Union, and the resurgence of a bear market seem to be the catalysts that will ignite the next recession, according to several economists. But Trump denies those reports. He also denies the credibility of the Mueller investigation now that Robert Mueller investigation could be in the final stage. If Mueller’s report shows the Trump campaign played a role in helping the Russians interfere with the 2016 election, Trump’s credibility will drop, and his economic policies won’t have the same effect on his voter base.
Wall Street investors know 2019 will be a tough year in the financial sector. Some of Trump’s decision will come back him and bite him, according to several Wall Street banks. But he wants to make sure Jerome Powell gets the blame for his lack of economic sense. That’s the way Trump rolls when there’s money on the table. If he loses, it’s always someone else’s fault. But there’s too much Trump mud in his economic policies to blame anyone but him. But some political experts say Trump’s voter base will stick with him as his economic ship sinks in his own distorted view of greatness.