After spending the last few weeks yelling at an increasingly frayed Carl Quintanilla about how Jay Powell would have to be possessed by pure evil to raise rates, Jim Cramer went even more nuts than his baseline level of permanent hysteria yesterday afternoon by saying this on television:
CNBC’s Jim Cramer went off on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, saying President Donald Trump is right to worry about a possible recession in 2019 as a result of the central bank chief’s interest rate hikes.
“The president is spot on,” Cramer said on CNBC’s “Mad Money” on Wednesday evening, after the Powell Fed raised rates for the fourth time in 2018 and projected two more increases next year. “The Fed is perfectly happy to gradually strangle the economy, the U.S. economy, in order to stamp out inflation, or the potential of inflation. And that’s bad news for corporate earnings” and the stock market.
Everyone's favorite bug-eyed equities gamer went on to say totally reasonable things like the Dow could have been down 1,000 points, the market is being attacked and that the economy is actually not strong (which is actually logical for Jim Cramer since he thinks the stock market is the economy). But the most interesting thing Cramer screeched on the TV yesterday was this:
“If I were running Trump’s re-election campaign, Jay [Jerome] Powell would be my worst nightmare,” said Cramer, who, like the president, has been calling on Powell to stop. Powell apologists, “they must have no sense or empathy for what’s about to happen to the working person in this country,” Cramer said.
Oh? That's a strong move Jimbo. Is someone conflating his jealousy of Larry Kudlow's DC power move with his own hatred of a measured economist leading the Federal Reserve? Because, when it comes to President Chauncey Gardner, this is less an afternoon rant than it is a job application.
Anyone who's been vaguely following this whole thing knows that the best way to get Trump's attention is to make him politically afraid of failure...on television. Saying into a camera that Jay Powell is an existential threat to Donald's perma-campaign and an underminer who could cost Trump his base is tantamount to a thought bubble materializing over Jim's head with the phrase "Federal Reserve Chairman James Cramer." The leader of the free world only wants TV personalities in his administration, and who fits that bill more than a guy who hits buttons, throws stuffed animals and yells about how he likes trucking company FUNDAMENTALS?
We're not saying that Trump shouldn't fire Powell and appoint Jim Cramer as America's central banker (hey, that would be great for business), but we are saying that whether or not you agree with Jay Powell, we might want to be wary of a future in which the Fed funds rate is tied to how well the performance of Philadelphia sports teams and how it affects the mood of America's central banker.