Well, someone went down into the subbasement crypt underneath the White House and reanimated Wilbur Ross’s remains so he could respond to comments Jerome Powell made yesterday at the ECB’s central banking conference in Sintra.
On Wednesday, a visibly uncomfortable Powell (he did ok, all things considered, but he was clearly the odd man out seated with Kuroda, Draghi and Lowe) delivered the following assessment with regard to the possibility that the Fed may have to change their outlook if trade tensions continue to mount:
Changes in trade policy could cause us to have to question the outlook. For the first time, we’re hearing about decisions to postpone investment, postpone hiring.
Now look, it seems unlikely that Powell is just making that shit up, right? I mean, this is Mr. “plain English” we’re talking about here, so if he says the Fed is “hearing about decisions to postpone investment [and] hiring”, then he probably means exactly that.
And if you don’t want to take Powell’s (English) word for it, then you could ask Jamie Dimon’s Business Roundtable which earlier this month reported the first drop in their quarterly survey since Trump took office. Or you could ask Daimler, which on Wednesday became the first prominent company to cut its profit outlook on trade concerns.
Or hell, you might ask Treasury Secretary (and man who would really appreciate it if you’d let him know when it’s safe for him to comment publicly) Steve Mnuchin, who reportedly warned Trump that going the Navarro route on trade risks a market crash.