Trump’s New Chief Of Staff: President “Now Realizes He Doesn’t Have Ability” To Fire Powell

Sunday, December 23, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Sun, 12/23/2018

With traders already exhausted, angry and confused by the relentless barrage that has hit stocks in recent weeks, a weekend report from Bloomberg that Trump was contemplating firing Fed chair Powell only added to their dread, for the simple reason that such an action would pull the rug from under the already depressed S&P and send markets in the and US tumbling even more (see “Rattled Markets Would ‘Erupt’ If Trump Fired the Fed Chairman”). And not just any markets, but those which president Trump considers the best real-time barometer of his presidency (there is a reason why Trump, who would constantly tweet praising the S&P’s all time highs on the way up has been silent on the current level of the stock market which is 2.5% away from a bear market).

Which is why shortly after the Bloomberg report hit, perhaps having realized the even greater danger the market faces should investors dump in the holiday-shortened Monday session ahead of a possible Powell firing, Trump unleashed a damage control barrage when he first made Steven Mnuchin tweet late on Saturday that he “never suggested firing Chairman Jay Powell” nor does he believe he have the right to do so…

… And then on Sunday morning, sent Mick Mulvaney, his acting chief of staff, to tell ABC’s “This Week” that that Trump “now realizes” that he “does not have the ability” to fire Powell, and added that it was “not unusual for a president to complain about the Fed” and that he had spoken to Mnuchin about Trump’s view of the Fed.

Mulvaney, who in 2016 infamous said “Yes, I’m supporting Donald Trump, I am doing so as enthusiastically as I can given the fact that I think he is a terrible human being but the choice on the other side is just as bad”, also touched on the other key issue affecting the US and which has led to what will likely be a protracted government shutdown, when he said that Mexico will “participate” in funding the border wall, whose funding proposals are in the $1.6-$5.0billion range.

Meanwhile, despite the surge in assurances from Trump’s inner circle that he won’t fire Powell, former Fed Vice Chair and NY Fed president Bill Dudley told Bloomberg in a phone interview that he doubts Trump would try to remove the Fed chief, but if he did, and if sticking around the Fed is legally possible, “my advice to him — I would stay on as a governor,” Dudley said in a phone interview. “You have to protect the institution.”

The Rest…HERE

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