Trump Meets With Fed Chair Powell for a ‘Cordial’ Talk

WASHINGTON — The chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome H. Powell, met with President Trump on Monday to discuss the economy, a first since Mr. Trump labeled the central bank chief and his colleagues “boneheads” and questioned whether Mr. Powell or President Xi Jinping of China was a bigger “enemy” of America. The meeting, which the Fed said Mr. Trump had requested, was the first between Mr. Powell and the president since February. In the intervening months, Mr. Trump has regularly taken to Twitter or television to criticize central bankers…

The Fed May Have Shrunk Its Balance Sheet Too Much. Does It Matter?

President Trump spent nearly a year insisting that the Federal Reserve should stop shrinking the vast holdings of government-backed securities on its balance sheet, arguing that the process was reining in the United States economy. Last week may have vindicated Mr. Trump’s perception that the central bank went too far with the process — often called quantitative tightening, or Q.T. — though for a much more nuanced reason. The tightening, which took place between late 2017 and last month, did not hit economic growth in a discernible way, as Mr.…

Fed Cuts Interest Rates by Another Quarter Point

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, its second cut since late July, and suggested it was prepared to move aggressively if the United States economy showed additional signs of weakening. For now, a growing number of Fed officials expect one more cut this year, based on economic projections released after the Fed’s two-day meeting. But a murky economic outlook and a division within the Fed’s policy-setting committee prevented a clear message about what comes next. Jerome H. Powell, the…

Fed Jumps Into Market to Push Down Rates, a First Since the Financial Crisis

The Federal Reserve stepped into financial markets on Tuesday to keep short-term interest rates from rising — the first time the central bank has had to carry out this type of “market operation” since the global financial crisis. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York had to spring into action to keep the effective fed funds rate in line after it rose to the very top of the Fed’s range of 2 to 2.25 percent. The central bank branch, which acts as an intermediary between the Fed and financial markets,…

Recession or Slowdown? Why You Should Care About the Difference

The United States is on recession watch as market signals flash red. Manufacturing is straining under President Trump’s trade war, business investment is slowing and consumer confidence is showing cracks. But many economists expect that growth will weaken slightly over the next couple of years — without actually contracting — and that distinction is crucial. The Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, said last week that “the most likely outlook for our economy remains a favorable one with moderate growth,” and “our main expectation is not at all that there…