Trump demands even lower rates less than an hour after Fed's first emergency cut since 2008
- Trump demanded even lower interest rates from the Federal Reserve less than an hour after its unexpected move.
- He called on the Fed to "LEAD" with "more easing and cutting" in a tweet.
- The Fed slashed the rate in a unanimous vote, and it now stands between 1% and 1.25%.
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US President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning finally got what he wanted from the Federal Reserve: an interest rate cut, the biggest since the 2008 financial crisis as fears mounted over the economic fallout from the coronavirus.
Yet less than an hour on after the unexpected move from the Fed, he demanded even lower rates.
"The Federal Reserve is cuting but must further ease and, most importantly, come into line with other countries/competitors. We are not playing on a level field," Trump tweeted. "Not fair to USA. It is finally time for the Federal Reserve to LEAD. More easing and cutting!"
The Fed slashed rates by 50 basis points in a unanimous vote, putting interest rates between 1% to 1.25%.
"The fundamentals of the US economy remain strong. However, the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity," the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement.
It also said that it was "closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook and will use its tools and act as appropriate to support the economy."
Economists worldwide had shaved down projections of economic growth in recent days as the coronavirus shutters factories and disrupts global supply chains amid its global spread. There has been a recent surge of new cases in Iran, Japan, and Italy.
On Monday, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said the virus had put the world economy in its "most precarious position" since the financial crisis just over a decade ago.
The death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, has surpassed 3,000 people, and the virus has infected over 90,000 - mostly in China. There are 100 reported cases in the US.
Trump had repeatedly called on the Fed to slash interest rates at the first sign of economic trouble - and he stepped up criticism of the central bank as his reelection campaign kicked into high gear.
Yet there are concerns over the Fed's ultimate ability to limit the ensuing economic damage from a public health crisis. Business Insider's Bob Bryan recently wrote that it may not matter what the Fed does, as "the tools it has to help the economy aren't made to deal with a coronavirus-type shock."
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