Central Bankers Defend Fed After Trump Accuses It of ‘Going Loco’

Mnuchin Says U.S. Markets ‘Correction’ Is Not Very SurprisingMore

The Dow Jones dropped by more than 800 points on Wednesday in one of the worst days for the stock market since February, and President Donald Trump had an explanation ready when asked by reporters. "They're so tight. I think Fed has gone insane", president Trump replied.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 831 points Wednesday, an approximately 3.15 percent drop.

Trump has often pointed to stock market records set during his time in office as a measure of his success.

It was his second broadside against the U.S. central bank in the last 24 hours, following a sell-off on Wall Street partly attributed to investors fully adjusting to the central bank's steady rate increases, and an uptick in particular in yields on long-term U.S. Treasury bonds that are an important, more secure alternative to stock investments. Trump also on Wednesday renewed criticism of the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, calling it a "mistake" and later reiterated his view in a Fox Business interview that the Fed "is going loco". "I think we don't have to go as fast". "But I really disagree with what the Fed is doing".

But Mnuchin said in media interviews on the Indonesia resort island of Bali, where the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are meeting, that "this is not a systemic issue".

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Trump has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods this year, and Beijing has retaliated with levies of $110 billion of American products.

United States presidents have rarely criticised the Fed in recent decades because its independence has been seen as important for economic stability. Higher interest rates makes it more expensive to borrow money, giving consumers or businesses pause before taking out a loan. The central bank has hiked interest rates three times this year and expects to do so again in December.

"There are a number of worries for investors right now, from the pace of rising bond yields and the impact on investor sentiment, to Italy's populist coalition playing a game of chicken with the European Commission, stalling Brexit negotiations and the ongoing trade conflict between the United States and China", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda trading group. Fed officials including Powell, Trump's handpicked chair, have said pointedly that they will not be influenced by comments from elected officials, and will make decisions based on economic data.

During an event earlier Wednesday amid the sell-off, Trump and his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said they believed the American economy was robust. "I like to stay uninvolved", Trump said. Steve Moore, who was a Trump adviser during the 2016 campaign, said the central bank traditionally raised interest rates as a way to fight inflation, but he said there weren't strong signs that inflation was threatening to impact the economy.

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