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Fed leader Jerome Powell meets Trump, Mnuchin on finance



President Donald Trump and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who has been at odds with the direction of monetary policy, met on Monday to discuss a number of economic issues.

The two discussed with the Secretary of Finance Secretary Steven Mnuchin the central bank, as well as growth, employment trends and inflation.

Powell's "comments were consistent with his comments at last week's congressional meetings," the Fed said.

On Twitter, Trump said the meeting was "good and cordial."

In separate meetings with panels on Capitol Hill last week, Powell said he thought monetary policy was appropriate and likely to remain unless there were any significant changes in the economic outlook.

In addition, he repeatedly said that Fed policy is not influenced by political considerations. That's a key point, given that Trump has been vocal in his criticism of the Powell Fed, saying that interest rate hikes in 201

8 were not necessary and that the central bank has been too slow to ease policy this year.

Full statement from the Fed:

At the president's invitation, Chairman Powell met with the President and Minister of Finance Monday morning at the White House to discuss economics, growth, employment and inflation.

Chairman Powell's comments were consistent with his comments at last week's congressional meetings. He did not discuss monetary policy expectations, except to emphasize that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming information that bears the outlook for the economy.

Finally, Chairman Powell said that he and his colleagues in the Federal Open Market Committee will set monetary policy, as required by law, to support maximum employment and stable prices and will make these decisions based only on careful, objective and non-political analysis.

CNBC has reached the White House for further comment.

This is not the first time Powell and Trump have met. The two had dinner together in February in a meeting The White House characterized as including "a very good exchange of views."

However, Trump has been unreliable in his criticism since that time, and at one point Fed officials called "boneheads" for not cutting rates more aggressively. Trump appointed Powell as Fed leader in February 2018 as the successor to Janet Yellen.

It is common practice for Fed chairs and presidents to meet, though Trump's bashing of the Fed is unusual in how public it has become. Former presidents were known to try to influence interest rates, but were rarely as open to it.

For example, Yellen and former President Barack Obama met in April 2016, but reportedly did not even discuss interest rates.

"I would not foresee that even in a confidential environment, the president will have a conversation with the Fed's chairman who will undermine her ability to make such critical monetary policy decisions independently," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said before the meeting, According to a USA Today report at the time.

President Richard Nixon, however, reportedly used arm twist behind the scenes to get his Fed chaiman, Arthur Burns, to lower rates on the way into the election in 1972. [19659018]
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