Can the President fire the Federal Reserve Board chairman? No, it wasn’t President Donald Trump asking (demanding) again this time round.
Instead, Congressional representatives were asking Fed chairman Jerome Powell himself what he thought about the president’s oft-repeated desire to sack him.
Unsurprisingly, the current chair doesn’t think that’s legal, and neither does the legislature. The law appears to be on Powell’s side, but the president’s drum beating on the issue seems to have accomplished much of what he wants anyway, which is lower rates.
Last week, during Powell’s semi-annual two days of Congressional testimony, Maxine Waters (D-CA) asked him how he would respond if the President “called [him], today or tomorrow, and said, ‘I’m firing you. Pack up. It’s time to go.’” Powell replied, “Of course, I would not do that.” Both parties in Congress support the notion of an independent Fed, a rare topic for bipartisanship. During the two-day testimony, both Republicans and Democrats routinely expressed support for an independent Fed, and for Powell as chairman.And yet, despite this assertion of independence, the Fed appears to be appeasing the president. In his responses, Powell signaled the central bank is in fact leaning towards a ...