The Washington Post Published 7:06 pm CDT, Wednesday, August 21, 2019 This appeared in Thursday’s Washington Post. – – – Incoherence from President Donald Trump is not a new phenomenon. But the messages emanating from the White House on the economy have become remarkably dissonant. Trump tweeted on Monday that the “Economy is very strong” before attacking Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s “horrendous lack of vision,” insisting that the Federal Reserve should cut interest rates a whole percentage point and engage in “quantitative easing” – that is, the central bank’s purchase of bonds to lower borrowing costs. Both would be extraordinary moves in an economy with extremely low unemployment, not to mention businesses that are already highly leveraged. These are the sorts of desperate measures the Fed takes in the midst of a true economic crisis. Even in the greatest economic disaster of a generation, the 2008 financial crisis, quantitative easing was highly controversial. So far, the only “crisis” is Trump’s fear that the economy he temporarily juiced with budget-busting tax cuts is beginning to cool – having never produced the sustained, breakneck growth Republicans promised would make them affordable – potentially harming his prospects in next year’s election. The Fed… Read full this story
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