WATCH: Trump Announces Fed Slashing Interest Rates to Zero, Bashes ‘Fake News’ Media at Coronavirus Presser
Sunday evening, President Donald Trump spoke at the beginning of a press conference from the coronavirus task force. He enthusiastically announced that the Federal Reserve was slashing its target interest rate to zero — and took the opportunity to bash one of his favorite targets, the “fake news” media.
“I think we have some great things to talk about,” Trump began. “I’ll start by discussing the Federal Reserve. As you know, it just happened ten minutes ago, but to me, it makes me very happy. And I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve. For starters, they’ve lowered fed rate from what it was, which was 1 to 1.25 and it’s been lowered down to 0 or 0.25. It’s 0.25.”
CNN’s report on the Federal Reserve’s announcement described it as a “bold, emergency action to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic,” noting that the last time the Fed cut rates to zero was the 2008 global financial crisis.
The rate that the Fed sets is a baseline upon which other banks set their interest rates when they lend money. So this lower Fed rate means that American businesses and individuals will be able to borrow money at a lower rate than before.
As Trump announced, the Fed was also purchasing another $700 billion worth of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. The Fed also struck deals with the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, and the Swiss National Bank to lower their rates on currency swaps.
There are many positive aspects of the American economy right now — a low unemployment rate and high consumer confidence, for starters — but the shutdown of countless businesses and reduction of travel due to the coronavirus has delivered a fundamental economic shock, both in America and globally.
Trump was clearly pleased with the announcement, describing the various measures the Fed was taking as “really good news.”
“They’re going to start with that. And that’s really good news. That’s really great for our country. It’s something that we’re very happy, I have to say this, I’m very happy.”
The president specifically noted he was “very happy” the Fed had lowered the rates all at once, and not in several smaller steps, to have the biggest impact quickly.
“People in the market should be thrilled,” he said, “We’re the strongest country in the world, financially and every other way.”
“And you will not hear anything bad about me, unless it’s about a month or two from now,” Trump predicted, along it wasn’t clear to what he was referring.
Then, Trump turned to the kerfuffle over his previous announcement about a Google-designed website to track coronavirus cases:
I want to thank the people at Google and Google Communications, because as you know, they substantiated what I said on Friday. The head of Google, who is a great gentleman said, he called us and he apologized. I don’t know where the press got their fake news, but they got it someplace. But as you know, this is from Google. They put out a release and you guys can figure it out yourselves and how that got out. And I’m sure you’ll apologize. But it would be great if we could really give the news correctly. It would be so, so wonderful.
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
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