The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised interest rates for the fourth time this year, defying President Trump, who has protested the bank’s policies.
The Fed’s policymaking arm, the Federal Open Market Committee, voted Wednesday to raise the baseline interest rate range to 2.25 to 2.5 percent, a 0.25 percentage point increase.
The central bank had been telegraphing a December rate hike for several months, and Wednesday’s move had been widely expected by Fed watchers.
The move comes in the face of intensifying Opposition from President Trump on the bank and its chairman, Jerome Powell, for raising rates amid new questions about the American economy.
President Trump has urged the independent central bank to keep cheap money flowing into the strong economy.
The president told the Fed on Tuesday to consider a steep stock sell-off on Wall Street and to halt their rate hikes.
I hope the people over at the Fed will read today’s Wall Street Journal Editorial before they make yet another mistake. Also, don’t let the market become any more illiquid than it already is. Stop with the 50 B’s. Feel the market, don’t just go by meaningless numbers. Good luck!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2018
Powell defended the bank’s independence at a press conference Wednesday, insisting that “political considerations play no role whatsoever in our discussions or decisions about monetary policy.” He added that he is not worried that Trump’s tweets and statements could interfere with his ability to communicate with markets.
Watch the Press Conference HERE: