Former Fed Chairmen Call On Trump To Leave The U.S. Central Bank Alone

Four former Chairmen of the U.S. Federal Reserve have united in calling on President Donald Trump to end his persistent attacks on current Chairman Jerome Powell and allow the central bank to operate without political pressure.

"We are united in the conviction that the Fed and its chair must be permitted to act independently and in the best interests of the economy, free of short-term political pressures and, in particular, without the threat of removal or demotion of Fed leaders for political reasons," Janet Yellen, Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker said in a joint op-ed article that has been published in The Wall Street Journal.

In the latest move to pile pressure on the Fed, the president said that a decline in the yuan on Monday -- which fell below the psychologically important level of seven per U.S. dollar -- is called "currency manipulation" and indicated he’d like the Fed to act to counter the Chinese action. His Treasury Department later in the day said it had formally labeled China a currency manipulator.

Trump has upended almost three decades of White House practice of avoiding public remarks on the Fed out of respect for its independence. Last week, Trump called for a "large" cut in the benchmark interest rate as the Federal Reserve held a two-day meeting. He later took to Twitter to slam the Fed’s decision to cut by just 25 basis points.

For his part, Powell has said repeatedly that he intends to serve his full four-year term as chair and that "the law is clear" on that issue. In response to a question from lawmakers during his testimony before Congress last month, Powell said he wouldn’t step down from his job if Trump attempted to fire him.

"It is critical to preserve the Federal Reserve’s ability to make decisions based on the best interests of the nation, not the interests of a small group of politicians," the former Fed chairs said in their joint op-ed article.