Former presidents of the Fed call for the absence of “political pressure”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – four former chairmen of the us federal Reserve (Fed) still life have asked Monday, in a rare joint statement, that the Fed is still free to work in complete independence and without fear of political retaliation.

Donald Trump has complained several times in the last year of the rate increase decided by the Fed, accusing the Fed chairman Jerome Powell said monetary policy which according to him affected the economic growth. The u.s. president said that it might dismiss Powell, he has appointed himself the head of the Fed.

“As former chairmen of the Board of governors of the federal Reserve, we are united by the belief that the Fed and its chair shall be authorized to act independently and in the interest of the economy, free of any political pressure in the short-term and, in particular, without the threat to revoke or to relegate it to the leaders of the Fed for political reasons”, wrote Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen in a column published by the Wall Street Journal.

Volcker was appointed Fed chairman by democratic president Jimmy Carter before being confirmed to the position by republican Ronald Reagan. Greenspan has been selected by four heads of State different – Reagan, the republicans, Bush father and son, and democrat Bill Clinton.

Bernanke was appointed by George W. Bush and then again by the democrat Barack Obama. Yellen was appointed by Obama.

The Fed has lowered on Wednesday its key interest rate in order to strengthen the u.s. economy facing risks, for the first time since the financial crisis of 2008.

Donald Trump had asked two days earlier the federal Reserve to go beyond a “small decline”rate.

In a context of escalating trade tensions with China, which he accused Monday of devaluing its currency, the yuan, Trump has once again made mention of the Fed.

“China has dropped the price of its currency at a low, almost historic; it is called the ‘handling the money’. It means nothing to you, to the federal Reserve? It is a major violation, which weakens greatly the China in the time”, wrote the american president on Twitter.

(Makini Brice; John Terzian for the French service)

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