'I do' have confidence Treasury Secretary Mnuchin

Trump once boasted of market gains, now tweets cause drops

"I am highly confident that the president is very happy with Secretary Mnuchin", Hassett told Fox Business host Charles Payne.

"It is unusual for the US president to dictate the Federal Reserve and it is harmful for Trump to look into the ways of firing the chairman of the Fed". "While the statement appears to be an attempt to calm the markets, the timing coupled with a general lack of concern on financial system liquidity, may cause a negative market reaction as investors discern if this is an issue that could affect financial companies and/or the financial markets".

Mr Trump blasted the Fed again, this time saying it was the U.S. economy's "only problem", and investors have closely followed reports the president had privately discussed the possibility of firing Mr Powell.

"They are raising rates too fast because they think the economy is so good", Mr Trump told reporters following his annual Christmas teleconference with American troops.

A digest of the top political stories from the Globe, sent to your inbox Monday-Friday.

It is unclear whether Trump actually has the power to dismiss Powell, but his savagery of the central bank earlier this week saw stock markets plunge.

Despite the recent stock market plunge, the USA economy is experiencing good numbers, overall, with unemployment at 3.7 per cent, the lowest in half a century, and inflation near the annual goal of 2 per cent.

In an official statement, the treasury said he held talks with the CEOs of Wells Frago, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citi and Bank of America. He said it wasn't appropriate for White House economists to comment on monetary policy.

In a sign Trump may have lost some faith in Mnuchin, the president has asked whether one or more of his advisers could meet with Powell, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Investors have many reasons to worry.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 was down 1.5 percent lower at 4,626.39 while the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares fell 0.5 percent to 6,685.99.

Despite the government being partially shutdown, Mnuchin left - as planned - for a holiday vacation in Cabo San Lucas.

"Yes, markets have been anxious about recession and Fed policy mistakes. The recent actions of the president and the Treasury secretary, however, have been erratic and are creating uncertainty and instability in the markets".

Trump nevertheless vouched for Mnuchin publicly, shifting blame for the market volatility to the Federal Reserve instead. He cited five-year-old restrictions on banks using their own capital to make speculative market bets, known as the Volcker Rule.

Hassett reiterated on Wednesday that there's no liquidity crisis, as there was in 2008.

The Fed is an independent agency.

The move "smacks of desperation and nervousness", said Paresh Upadhyaya, a portfolio manager at Amundi Pioneer Asset Management in Boston. The markets will only be open half a day on Monday due to Christmas Eve.

Or as the CNN source said, "Mnuchin is under the gun".

After the Federal Reserve announced its plan to raise interest rates somewhere between 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent, Trump responded today with, "The fact is that the economy is doing so well that they raised interest rates".

President Donald Trump has criticized the Fed for raising rates and reports over the weekend suggested he had privately discussed firing Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

"We've gone through situations before where it's absolutely normal for the secretary of Treasury to reach out to the private sector", Quincy Krosby, a chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, told The Wall Street Journal.

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