Kevin Hassett bucks reports of Trump souring on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Jermaine Castillo
December 26, 2018

Trump told reporters at the White House on Christmas morning that Mnuchin is a "very talented guy, very smart person".

"They're raising interest rates too fast", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office after a teleconference with US troops on Christmas.

Trump - answering reporters' questions at the White House - said the Fed was hiking borrowing costs because the "economy is doing so well", adding that USA companies were having "record kinds of numbers" and it's a "tremendous opportunity to buy".

Yesterday the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took the unusual step of calling the chief executives of America's six largest banks in a bid to soothe market jitters.

President Trump, already seething at the Federal Reserve over the market's poor performance, is weighing getting rid of Mnuchin, whose future may depend on the market rebounding, Bloomberg News reported late Monday.

Here are some of the key factors that have brought the S&P 500 to the brink of a "bear market", a drop of 20 percent from its peak.

The Government Shutdown Could Last Until January as Leaders Leave Washington
Several of the sources said there were policy additions and restrictions included in the proposal to try to bridge the gap. Social security cheques will be sent as usual, troops will remain on duty and food inspections will continue.

Sarah Binder: The point of the Fed is really to manage the economy, manage growth, make sure that inflation doesn't get too out of control so that the value of people's money doesn't deteriorate, but also to make sure that in times when the economy is doing poorly to make sure that Americans and businesses have access to credit.

But an array of threats to company earnings has emerged in recent months, from interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve to the Trump administration-led trade war.

Monday morning's drop in USA financial markets began after Trump tweeted about the Fed.

The test of Trump's comments will come when United States stock futures resume trading at 6 p.m.

The stock market malaise comes with Trump refusing to sign a budget bill to keep the government funded as he demands US$5 billion (RM21 billion) for a US-Mexico border wall - a pillar of his election platform. On that issue, Trump gave little ground on Tuesday, saying that the agencies won't reopen "until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they'd like to call it".

Asian stocks were mixed yesterday after a weekend call by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to top U.S. banking executives aimed at stemming the market panic which resulted in Wall Street experiencing its worst week in a decade. Two sources previously told CNN that Trump had begun polling advisers on whether he has the legal authority to fire Powell.

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Of course with that kind of temperature profile any snow that was left in the corners of your yard would be gone. Meteorologist Mark Wilson said: 'So we look ahead to the all important forecast then for Christmas Day .

While President Trump's displeasure with Powell has intensified in recent days, Fed watchers and investors know that it goes back several months.

Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Binder: So, I think that's the big question for the Fed, is how does the credibility of the Fed come out of these attacks by the president, which have been going on for a good year, even as the Fed has been incrementally raising rates. "I've met with them together in the Oval (Office) many, many times and they have a very collegial and productive relationship".

"But what's bad is this made the papers, and says the government is very anxious", Krosby told the paper, adding that with investors focused on so many issues, "it's nearly as if gravity is pulling this market toward a lower level before it bottoms out".

Last week, the Federal Reserve announced it will raise interest rates to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent.

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Videos posted on social media showed flooded streets, an overturned vehicle and people running up stairs to escape the waves. It was the latest in a series of tragedies that have struck Indonesia, a vast archipelago, in recent years.

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