Today, in one of his tweets, US President Donald Trump criticized the Federal Reserve. Trump said, “Despite the unnecessary and destructive actions taken by the Fed, the Economy is looking very strong, the China and USMCA deals are moving along nicely, there is little or no Inflation, and USA optimism is very high!”
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To be sure, this is not the first time that Trump has lashed out at the Fed and Fed Chair Jerome Powell for raising interest rates. In November, speaking with the Washington Post, President Trump said, “So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay.” Then, on Christmas Eve, President Trump tweeted that “The only problem our economy has is the Fed.” Trump also seemed to target Powell in March without naming him and referred to “a gentleman that likes raising interest rates in the Fed, we have a gentleman that loves quantitative tightening in the Fed, we have a gentleman that likes a very strong dollar in the Fed.” Trump was apparently planning to fire Powell last year.
Meanwhile, while Trump has faulted the Fed for the US economic slowdown, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) chair Warren Buffett supported Powell in a CNBC interview. Calling him a terrific choice, Buffett said Powell “understands both business and economics, and I don’t think you could have a better chairman.”
Notably, Berkshire underperformed the S&P 500 (SPY) by a wide margin in Q1. Apple (AAPL), Kraft Heinz (KHC), and Coca-Cola (KO) were some of Berkshire’s biggest holdings at the end of the fourth quarter.