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Trump takes swipe at Fed for raising interest rates too quickly

19 October 2018

The discussion, revealed in minutes of the September 25-26 meeting released Wednesday, shows that a few participants believed that the Fed's key interest rate would need to "become modestly restrictive for a time" to guard against inflation climbing too high.

Compared to the minutes of Fed's previous meeting held in August, the September minutes appeared to show less discussion around the prospects that a recession might be lurking around the corner. But others argued against stronger tightening of monetary policy without "clear signs" the economy is running hot.

But some Fed members warned that instability in emerging economies - many of which are heavily indebted and vulnerable when United States rates rise - could "spread more broadly through the global economy and financial markets".

U.S. stocks closed slightly lower and U.S. Treasury yields gained a bit as traders continued to bet on further rate hikes ahead.

According to the minutes: "A few participants expected that policy would need to become modestly restrictive for a time and a number judged that it would be necessary to temporarily raise the federal funds rate above their assessments of its longer-run level".

"It's independent, so I don't speak to [Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell] but I'm not happy with what he's doing", he added. Fed officials projected that rates would rise to 3.4 percent by 2020, their latest forecasts show.

Some investors say that, after years of easy money, pockets of risk have built up throughout the global economy as borrowing costs begin to increase - raising the chances that a bubble could burst or banks could see significant defaults on debt. That would put it above the 3 percent level which the Fed now pegs as its "neutral rate".

They also noted that some businesses said they were investing less in the energy sector due to the imposition of import tariffs on steel and aluminum, part of an array of trade policy conflicts the Trump administration has pursued.

Further rate hikes "would most likely be consistent" with the current period of firming inflation and historically low unemployment, according to minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent meeting three weeks ago.

The minutes showed that "almost all" policymakers agreed it was time to remove that language.

Trump takes swipe at Fed for raising interest rates too quickly