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Trump demands ‘more easing and cutting’ after Fed slashes rates amid coronavirus outbreak

PUBLISHED: Tue, 03 Mar 2020 18:35:35 GMT

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Yelena Dzhanova@YelenaDzhanova

Key Points

  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday demanded that the Federal Reserve cut rates even more after the central bank announced it would slash rates by 50 basis points in an effort to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The Federal Reserve on Tuesday slashed interest rates by half a percentage point in response to slower economic growth from the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday demanded that the Federal Reserve cut rates even more after the central bank announced it would slash rates by 50 basis points in an effort to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Federal Reserve “must further ease and, most importantly, come into line with other countries/competitors,” Trump tweeted.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2020

“We are not playing on a level field. Not fair to USA. It is finally time for the Federal Reserve to LEAD. More easing and cutting!”

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday slashed interest rates by half a percentage point in response to slower economic growth from the deadly coronavirus outbreak. On the move, markets began fluctuating, dipping into and out of negative territory, amid fears of a virus-related global slowdown. 

Fed Chairman Jay Powell on Tuesday addressed the decision to cut rates, emphasizing that it stemmed from the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The magnitude and persistence of the overall effects on the economy, however, remain highly uncertain and the situation remains a fluid one,” he said at a press briefing.

“We have eased the stance of monetary policy to provide some more support to the economy,” he added, also stressing that the fundamentals of the economy remain strong.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin praised the Fed on Tuesday for cutting interest rates, saying, “I applaud the Fed on this move.” 

Currently, the Fed benchmark rate stands at a range of 1% to 1.25%.

The Fed’s move to lower rates came the same morning the G-7 announced that it would commit unspecified tools to help the global economy deal with the threat, and as Wall Street was in the midst of another market sell-off.

The market turned in its worst performance since the financial crisis last week, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 12%. It made up some of that ground on Monday, rising more than 1,200 points, for the biggest one-day gain ever. 

CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.


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