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Fed Chief Jerome Powell Says He Won’t Resign If Trump Asks

January 4, 2019, 4:11 PM UTC

While President Donald Trump has been a vocal critic of the Federal Reserve in recent months, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says he would not resign if the president asked him to.

Speaking at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting, Powell waved off criticisms from the Oval Office, such as when Trump said he was “not even a little bit happy” with Powell’s performance, saying he had not received any direct communication from the White House about the Fed’s actions, including recent rate hikes.

“If the president asked you to resign, would you do it?” the moderator asked Powell.

“No,” the Fed chief replied succinctly.

Asked if there were any plans to meet with Trump, he declined to give a specific answer, simply saying “I would say that meetings between presidents and Fed chairs do happen.”

Trump has been at odds with the Fed for months, calling hikes in October “crazy” and calling the board his “biggest threat“. He kept up the criticism until late December, when he reportedly realized he did not have the authority to fire Powell.

Stocks have been especially volatile in recent weeks, as investors fear a correction is on the horizon. Even former Fed chair Alan Greenspan has warned investors to “run for cover” in the coming months.