In an otherwise quiet morning as we await Jeff Sessions’ testimony, a WSJ article is making the rounds which recounts the interactions between Trump and Janet Yellen – who it turns out were born two months apart in neighboring boroughs of New York City – according to which despite Donald Trump’s fierce criticisms of the Federal Reserve in the final weeks of the 2016 election campaign “the nation’s two most powerful economic-policy players – the president and the leader of the central bank – are “off to a surprisingly smooth start.”
According to the WSJ “weeks after his inauguration, President Trump held court with Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen in the Oval Office. Seated behind the office’s Resolute desk, he told her she was doing a good job, according to people familiar with the exchange. Ms. Yellen sat across from Mr. Trump in a chair next to Gary Cohn, Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser, who has emerged as the key intermediary in the unfolding relationship with the Fed.”
While the conversation took place long before Trump’s subsequent interview with the WSJ in which he once again had good words for Yellen, and suggested that low rates and a weak dollar are the way to go, the WSJ reports that “the president told Ms. Yellen he considered her, like himself, a ‘low-interest-rate’ person. During a roughly 15-minute conversation, they discussed how economic policy might help the millions of Americans who felt left behind during the postcrisis recovery.”
Which is odd, because during his campaign Trump on several occasions extolled the virtues of higher rates, especially in a nation in which yield-starved retirees are forced to seek extra employment or speculate in the stock market just to make ends meet. Also, as the WSJ notes, “Mr. Trump’s April comments marked a reversal from last year, when he accused Ms. Yellen of keeping rates low to help Democrats.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 13, 2017.