Trump attacks the Fed

Donald Trump has criticised the US Federal Reserve for raising the interest rates. The US president said in an interview that he was "not thrilled" with the decision and that the Fed should do more to "help him" boost the economy. European commentators find it alarming that Trump is openly calling into question the independence of the central bank.

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Spiegel Online (DE) /

The Fed is not a playground

In raising doubts over the independence of the Federal Reserve, Trump is playing with fire, Spiegel Online warns:

“With his trade wars and his unpredictability, Trump has already aroused doubts among many investors. If almost all of them continue to rely on the robustness of the US economy, it's above all because they trust the Fed. If push comes to shove the Federal Reserve will get the job done, they believe. But if he goes on playing with fire Trump will jeopardise this unshakeable trust. ... The Federal Reserve is as little suited to his vulgar deal-making mentality as international trade relations. In both areas so much that has been accomplished in past decades stands to be irretrievably destroyed.”

Die Presse (AT) /

World's leading currency at stake

If the US president really is influencing the decisions of the Fed the US could face the same fate as hyperinflation countries like Venezuela, Die Presse warns:

“Of course politicians are free to criticise the Fed. ... It gets trickier when they begin to interfere with the day-to-day business of the central bank. This is the first step towards the abyss. Trump's 'wish' that the Fed will give his policies 'a little help' is already very close to that. ... It's almost certain that the Fed is strong enough to oppose the crazy wishes of a president. It has withstood many other problems. But it has to make you wary when the boss of the world's most powerful industrial nation begins to drift towards such risky territory. Because unlike Venezuela's bolívar, which we needn't care less about, the world's leading currency is at stake here.”

L'Echo (BE) /

President fearful of losing his laurels

Trump is driven by the fear that Fed chief Jerome Powell will spoil the party on Wall Street, where shares are currently reaching record highs, L'Echo suspects:

“Is he afraid of the impact of a too-strong dollar? That may well be the case. It's probable that the egocentric US president will pat himself on the back for the record highs on Wall Street. He may have given the stock markets a big boost with his stimulating fiscal measures, but most of the share highs of the last nine years are down to the technology shares (of the Gafa companies) and the Federal Reserve's exceedingly lax monetary policy in the aftermath of the big crisis in 2007/2008 during which shares on the US stock exchange lost over 55 percent of their value.”