Trump worries he’ll become a ‘Hoover’, the president at the beginning of the Great Depression

President Donald Trump and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

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President Donald Trump and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump has reportedly complained to his advisers the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy will “turn me into a Hoover.”
  • Trump was referencing Herbert Hoover, the president of the US at the start of the Great Depression.
  • Trump has repeatedly criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell over rising interest rates, which the president has blamed for turmoil in the stock market.

President Donald Trump has reportedly complained to his advisers the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy will “turn me into a Hoover,” a reference to Herbert Hoover – the president of the US at the start of the Great Depression.

Trump has in recent months repeatedly criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell over rising interest rates, which the president has blamed for turmoil in the stock market, and recently asked aides whether he could fire him, The New York Times reported. Trump appointed Powell as Fed chairman.

On Monday, Trump tweeted, “The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch – he can’t putt!”

Read more: Mnuchin says Trump doesn’t believe he has the right to fire the Fed chair, despite reports saying he has privately discussed the possibility

The president’s criticism of the Fed has been a break with historical precedent and has sparked concern among economists.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Saturday denied allegations Trump has considered dismissing Powell.

Read more: Fed raises interest rates amid fierce pushback from Trump, signals fewer hikes in 2019

In a Saturday tweet, Mnuchin quoted Trump as stating, “I totally disagree with Fed policy. I think the increasing of interest rates and the shrinking of the Fed portfolio is an absolute terrible thing to do at this time, especially in light of my major trade negotiations which are ongoing, but I never suggested firing Chairman Jay Powell, nor do I believe I have the right to do so.”

White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday said Trump “now realizes” he can’t fire Powell despite his criticism of the Fed chairman.