President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew York Times: Reporter who called for CDC chief’s resignation went ‘too far’ GOP’s Don Bacon and challenger neck-and-neck in Democratic poll Cheney defends Fauci: ‘We need his expertise’ to defeat coronavirus MORE on Wednesday praised Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as the “most improved player” in the administration, a reflection of how far the president has come around on Powell after arguing last year he had the power to fire him.
“He has done a very good job over the last couple of months, I have to tell you that,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with the governors of Colorado and North Dakota. “Because I have been critical, but in many ways I call him my ‘MIP.’ Do you know what an MIP is? Most improved player. It’s called the Most Improved Player award.”
The president said he still is at odds with Powell over his stance on negative interest rates. Trump has for months pushed negative interest rates, arguing the U.S. is on an unfair playing field if other countries have negative rates.
Trump hammered Powell relentlessly last year to cut interest rates, and he has shifted to offering praise after the central bank took drastic action amid the pandemic-induced downturn.
The Federal Reserve in March slashed interest rates to zero percent and purchased $700 billion in bonds and securities to stabilize financial markets and support the economy.
The Fed announced in April it will finance more than $2 trillion in emergency loans using the $464 billion in credit protection allotted by the CARES Act.
Powell and his central bank colleagues have also consistently warned that the steep interest rate cuts and trillions in loans and asset purchases deployed by the Fed will not be enough to support the economy alone.