An official from the White House has assured that the head of the US Federal Reserve is not at any risk of being dismissed from his position, amid the jitters that have been observed on Wall Street throughout the month that was partly caused by Trump’s criticism of the Fed.
When asked on Boxing Day if the job of Fed chairman Jerome Powell was safe, Kevin Hassett, an economic advisor, said to the reporters: “Yes, of course, 100 percent.”
The assurance comes amidst the repeated attacks on the central bank by the US President, who most recently said that the Fed is the “only problem” US economy last Monday.
Some investors have also closely followed the rumours Trump that had privately talked about whether he could dismiss Powell, after appointing him last February.
Powell has continued with gradually increasing the interest rates in the same vein as Janet Yellen, his predecessor, a strategy which has repeatedly drawn the ire of the President, either verbally or on Twitter.
It is not clear whether President Trump actually has the power to remove Powell from his position, however, his savagery of the central bank saw the stock markets fall.
On Wednesday, US stocks nudged up with the S&P 500 up by 0.2 percent. The index was on track for its largest percentage drop this month since the Great Depression.
Earlier this month, the Fed followed through on expectations that it would increase interest rates by 0.25 to a range of 2.25 percent 2.5 percent – the highest level in a decade.
However, it added that there would be fewer rate increases next year, with the US economy having been growing strongly and the job market improving.
In a statement is said that “some” further rate hikes would be required, reducing the expected number of raises next year from three to two.
In a subsequent press conference, as a eresponse to questions about the criticism of Trump, Powell stated: “Political considerations play no role in our decisions about monetary policy. We are absolutely committed to that mission and nothing will deter us from doing what we think is the right thing to do.”
He added: “I am not worried [about Trump] because I know we are always going to do our jobs as we have always done them.”