Jun 18, 2019

Report: White House considered "legality of demoting" Fed Chair

Jerome Powell and President Trump. Photos: Scott Olson/Getty Images and Alex Wong/Getty Images

The White House considered the "legality of demoting" Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in February, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

The big picture: This, according to anonymous sources, reportedly took place after Trump discussed firing Powell last year following frustrations with the central bank's interest rate increases, per another Bloomberg scoop. Toward the end of 2018, Trump briefly mused about whether he could replace Powell with Kevin Warsh, a former Fed governor and aide to President George W. Bush.

Details: The White House counsel's office "studied whether Powell could be stripped of his chairmanship but remain a board member," Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs reports. Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg that the administration is not currently considering the issue.

  • Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith, in an email to Bloomberg: “Under the law, a Federal Reserve Board chair can only be removed for cause.”

Go deeper: Fed chair Jerome Powell denies Trump influenced interest rate decisions

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BIG3 to create a hybrid reality show about quarantine basketball

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sports are on pause, and there's no timetable for their return. In the interim, leagues, teams and athletes are getting creative with ways to keep fans engaged.

The latest: A "quarantined reality show basketball tournament," courtesy of the BIG3, the upstart 3-on-3 basketball league founded by Ice Cube and his longtime business partner Jeff Kwatinetz.

Trump on coronavirus misinformation from China: "Every country does it"

President Trump brushed aside allegations that China — as well as Russia and Iran — are spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus during a 64-minute call with "Fox & Friends" on Monday, telling the hosts that "every country does it."

Why it matters: Multiple verified Chinese government Twitter accounts have promoted different conspiracy theories, and Chinese foreign ministry deputy spokesperson Zhao Lijian suggested that the virus come from a U.S. military lab, Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian reports.

Go deeperArrow22 mins ago - World

Investment pros are selling while mom and pop buy the coronavirus dip

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As traders around the globe have frantically unloaded positions in recent weeks, so-called mom and pop retail investors have kept level heads and not sold out of stocks.

What they're saying: In fact, "the typical trader is buying equities on the dips," passive investment firm Vanguard notes in a research paper, adding that "older, wealthier traders are moving modestly to fixed income."