One month after Trump first ventured into territory few presidents have dared to go before, when he told CNBC in an interview that he was “not thrilled” about the Fed raising rates, and noted that the strong dollar is disadvantageous, moments ago Bloomberg reported that during a Hamptons fundraiser with wealthy Republican donors, Trump said he expected Jerome Powell to be a cheap-money Fed chairman and lamented that his nominee instead raised interest rates, according to three people present.
Bloomberg adds that about 60 people attended Trump’s fundraiser at the Southampton home of Howard Lorber, the chairman of hot dog company Nathan’s Famous. Guests included Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts; John Catsimatidis Jr., the son of Red Apple Group Chairman John Catsimatidis; Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel; Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; White House Chief of Staff John Kelly; and senior White House aides Jared Kushner and Dan Scavino.
Trump held a discussion with a small group and then made remarks to a larger group over a dinner of salad with chicken in a tent in Lorber’s yard. It was a humid night and Trump joked that Lorber could have afforded better air conditioning, according to one of the people.
While Trump has publicly complained about the central bank’s recent rate increases – most recently to CNBC in mid-July -his private remarks to donors are the most personal criticism of Powell’s performance to emerge so far according to Bloomberg.
Despite Trump’s recurring complaints, the Fed continues on its course to further tighten policy; with core CPI now running at a “hot” 2.4% and set to increase as a result of tariff-induced price increases, it may have to hike more than the market expects.
The dollar wobbled following the Bloomberg report, sliding to session lows, but since rebounding to unchanged.