Powell '100% safe' at Fed, says Trump's aide


The head of the U.S. Federal Reserve faces no risk of losing his job and President Donald Trump is happy with his Treasury secretary, a White House official said in an apparent attempt to calm Wall Street nerves frayed by Trump's criticism of the Fed.

President Donald Trump on Christmas Day hailed US companies as "the greatest in the world", adding that they present a "tremendous opportunity to buy" for investors.

Hassett also said the president was happy with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who reportedly faced his own tensions with the president.

Still, Trump, on Christmas Day, called the Treasury secretary a "very talented guy" and a "very smart person". His comments came after Mnuchin on Monday held a conference call with US regulators to discuss plunging USA stock markets.

The treasury stated: "The CEOs confirmed that they have ample liquidity available for lending", adding that Mnuchin "also confirmed that they have not experienced any clearance or margin issues and that the markets continue to function properly". The percentage increase for all three major indexes were the strongest since March 2009. The S&P 500 has lost about 19.8 percent from its September 20 closing high, just shy of the 20 percent threshold that commonly defines a bear market. That comes after Mnuchin's Sunday tweet saying he had convened a meeting of chief executive officers of the largest US banks, such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which was blamed in part for the worst-ever Christmas Eve session of trading on Wall Street.

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With stocks on track for their worst December since the Great Depression, Mr Trump has regularly berated the Fed for its stewardship of the economy.

"I have great confidence in our companies. They are doing very well", he noted. They have record kinds of numbers. "I think its a tremendous opportunity to buy".

On Wednesday, US stocks nudged up with the S&P 500 up by 0.2 percent. Trump has largely laid the blame for economic headwinds on the Fed, openly criticizing its chairman, Jerome Powell, whom he appointed.

"They are raising rates too fast because they think the economy is so good", Mr Trump told reporters following his annual Christmas teleconference with American troops. "I've met with them together in the Oval (Office) many, many times and they have a very collegial and productive working relationship". Amid concerns of political gridlock and government shutdown, sluggish economic growth and squeezed economy, and, a report indicating informal discussions of possible firing of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, the Wall St.