Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was keeping interest rates low because of political pressure from the Obama administration.
“Well, it’s staying at zero because she’s obviously political and she’s doing what Obama wants her to do,” Trump told CNBC in a phone interview, saying she should be “ashamed” of what she was doing to the country.
“And I know that’s not supposed to be the way it is. As soon as they go up, the stock market’s going down. … I believe it’s a false market because money is essentially free,” he said.
“Any increase at all will be a very, very small increase because they want to keep the market up so Obama goes out and let the new guy … raise interest rates … and watch what happens in the stock market.”
Trump said that as a businessman, “I love low interest rates,” but that they hurt many people who were living on their savings.
Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari responded in a later interview on CNBC by denying that politics had influence on Fed policymaking.
“Politics simply does not come up,” he said. “We look at the economic data and … everyone around the table is committed to achieving our dual mandate,” Kashkari said.
Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, asked about political pressure on the Fed at a National Association for Business Economics conference in Atlanta, said, “I don’t see the world that way.”