The Federal Reserve Bank and Presidential Pressure

“A string of central bankers,” the entire Precious lot of them, at last weekend’s IMF conference expressed their concerns over the independence of our Federal Reserve Bank System and the members of its Board of Governors.  They think the BoG is being unduly pressured by President Donald Trump because he demurs—enthusiastically—from the interest rate regime they’re setting.

I have to ask, though: what pressure? Trump has certainly spoken zealously and forcefully about what he thinks the Fed ought to do, but he’s made no threats.  He’s just argued.

For others to say Fed personnel feel pressured and the Fed’s independence is threatened is to insult the Fed personnel involved and further, to Congressmen—who in their aggregate are the only ones who can impact the Fed’s independence.

All a President can do is force the resignation of this or that Fed governor (following which, the Senate would have to approve any replacement).  If a Fed man feels pressured by rhetoric or by the thought of not being a Governor anymore, he either puts too much ego in having that particular job, or he’s too timid. Either of those makes him unfit for the job in the first place.

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