Chairman: Federal reserve must avoid political pressures

Morgan Smith
Associated Press

Salt Lake City – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is stressing the importance of an independent central bank “absolutely free” from politics.

Powell’s comments Monday in Salt Lake City came after President Donald Trump has repeatedly pressured Powell to lower interest rates and said the United States is missing out on economic opportunities because of “boneheads” at the Federal Reserve.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks Monday in Salt Lake City.

Powell was in Utah for the premiere of a documentary about former Chairman Marriner Eccles, a Utah resident before he died.

Powell didn’t mention Trump by name in his brief remarks but highlighted Eccles’ work to strengthen the bank’s independence and safeguard it from private interests.

Powell praised Eccles as a smart leader who helped the U.S. survive the Great Depression. He served as chairman from 1934 until 1948.

Powell is expected to speak Tuesday at a business conference in Denver.