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Amid Trump pressure, Fed chairman stresses need for independence in Utah speech

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell in Salt Lake City on Monday revived an old warning from Utahn Marriner Eccles — father of the Federal Reserve System — perhaps to help push back against President Donald Trump’s aggressive pressure to lower interest rates.

Without specifically mentioning Trump in a speech to introduced a new KUED documentary about Eccles, Powell praised how he insisted that the Fed must be “absolutely free” from politics, and created an independent system to control interest rates for the long-term good — rather than short-term political gain.

“Perhaps most importantly from my perspective as Fed Chair, he is responsible more than any other person for the fact that the United States today has an independent central bank — a central bank able to make decisions in the long-term best interest of the economy, without regard to the political pressures of the moment,” Powell said.