President Donald Trump seems continually keen on just firing his way out of tough situations. The latest reported target of his wrath is Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who he nominated last year to replace Janet Yellen. After the latest interest rate hike from the agency Powell leads, Trump has reportedly become so disgruntled that he’s been speaking with advisers about whether or not he has the legal authority to fire Powell, who would normally serve a four year term before it falls to the commander-in-chief to choose who comes next.
As the law stands, the president is explicitly permitted to fire members of the Reserve’s Board of Governors “for cause,” but according to CNN, the law “hasn’t been tested” in situations where the president wants the chairman out, a move the network calls “unprecedented” — although Trump reportedly first brought up the idea earlier this year and it’s not a new concept for him.
Advisers have reportedly told the president that although it might technically be legal, the abrupt firing could wreck the financial markets more than they already are thanks to the instability it would enact. The stock market’s value has been nosediving to the point of the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing all of its net gains for 2018, driven by the chaos associated with Trump’s trade wars.
Trump has maintained the public argument that the United States is getting along just fine under the weight of the tariffs his administration imposed and the retaliatory tariffs from around the world, but the reality is — surprise surprise — significantly grimmer. Just in the state of Nebraska, the Farm Bureau has estimated that farmers have lost up to $1 billion. Although the move was only partly driven by the acute chaos wrought by the tariffs, General Motors just recently slashed some 15,000 jobs from its North American operations and announced plans to close four plants in the United States alone.
Trump has reportedly been speaking with advisers about whether or not he’ll be blamed for the economic turmoil — and they’ve reportedly insisted that yes, he will.
He came into office taking credit for positive economic indicators that had been set on their course under President Barack Obama, turning not sending everything into a nosedive as an indicator of rousing success. Well, now he’s sending everything into a nosedive and can’t even maintain a status quo.
His economic policy efforts have taken him from renegotiating the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement — the new version of which only has comparatively minor adjustments, no matter what he says — to imposing harsh tariffs on imported goods from around the world. The administration has sparred perhaps most fiercely with the Chinese government, although earlier this month, Trump announced he and Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed to pause any further tariffs to give room for a trade deal to emerge. He touted that the Chinese had supposedly agreed to buy an unspecified amount of American goods in the meantime — but as it turns out, that’s as much talk as action.
The chaos the president is so worried about is continuing.
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