President Trump is ‘not happy’ with Fed’s decision to raise rates

President Donald Trump was not applauding the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates Wednesday.

“Unfortunately they just raised interest rates a little bit because we are doing so well. I’m not happy about that,” President Trump said at a press conference in New York Wednesday. “I’d rather pay down debt or do other things, create more jobs.”

The Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate a quarter point Wednesday, and raised its expectations for economic growth for this year and next.

Trump pointed to strength in the economy and a falling unemployment rate as reasons to increase rates. But he suggested that there were other ways to capitalize on the windfall from an improving economy.

“I’m worried about the fact that they seem to like raising interest rates, we can do other things with the money,” he said.

Trump has reportedly considered unusual approaches to economic prosperity, according to veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” which went on sale earlier in September.

“Just run the presses — print money,” Trump told Gary Cohn, the former director of the National Economic Council, during a discussion on the national debt, according to Woodward‘s book. “We should just go borrow a lot of money, hold it, and then sell it to make money,” the book quotes Trump saying.

President Trump has repeatedly criticized Fed Chair Jay Powell’s move to higher rates. During a CNBC interview this summer, Trump said that he was “not thrilled” with the rate hikes and reportedly told donors at a fundraiser that Powell had not been the “cheap money” banker he hoped for.

The historically rare criticism by a sitting president was taken on Capitol Hill and Wall Street as an affront on the central bank’s independence from political pressure.

— CNBC’s
Thomas Franck
contributed to this report.

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