The advisors of President Donald Trump have discussed arranging a meeting between him and the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in the coming weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a source.
Trump has recently been critical of the Fed for raising borrowing costs this year, especially as the US stocks have tumbled, and yields on the US government debt have begun to signal a possible recession ahead.
Trump has frequently attacked Powell, who was sworn in as Fed chairman last February. Reuters had reported on Saturday that Trump has privately discussed the possibility of firing Powell. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin later said Trump told him he had "never suggested firing" Powell. The White House and the Federal Reserve did not respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.
The Fed's independence is seen as a pillar of the US financial system. Mnuchin's calls come as a range of asset classes have suffered steep losses. In December alone, the S&P 500 fell nearly 12.5 per cent, while the Nasdaq Composite has slumped 13.6 per cent. The Nasdaq is now in a bear market, having declined nearly 22 per cent from its record high in late August, and the S&P is not far off that level, too.