SINGAPORE (Aug 30): The US Federal Reserve has responded to the suggestion that it wade into presidential politics the only way it could: with a forceful denial. “The Fed’s decisions are guided solely by its congressional mandate to maintain price stability and maximum employment,” says a spokeswoman. “Political considerations play absolutely no role.”
The statement is admirably direct. Still, it is not enough. Chairman Jerome Powell has no choice but to speak out to defend the Fed.
And it is not just about politics. As my colleagues have noted, the idea that the Fed should interfere in a presidential election violates not only the Fed’s independence but the spirit of democratic governance. To stand pat in the face of a trade war is misguided on economic grounds as well.