Alan Greenspan, former Fed chair, gives advice on presidential criticism: ‘Just don’t listen’

December 5, 2018 GMT

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Thursday that the best thing for Fed employees is to “put on earmuffs” and ignore presidential criticism.

Mr. Greenspan, a long-time Fed veteran that served under four presidents from 1987 to 2006, said it’s not uncommon for presidents to chime in on how the chairman should do his job.

He oversaw the Fed during the days of President Ronald Reagan’s economic boomand ended his tenure just before the economic recession under President George W. Bush.

“You’ll find every president has an insight into how the markets work and where interest ought to be, which is always superior to that of the Federal Open Market Committee,” Mr. Greenspan said during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”


“The best thing that you can do if you’re in the Fed is put earmuffs on and just don’t listen,” he said.

President Trump railed this week against Jay Powell, who currently serves as chairman. He criticized Mr. Powell for raising rates “too fast” during an interview on Fox News Tuesday and called the Federal Reserve his “biggest threat.”

Mr. Greenspan defended Mr. Powell and touted his abilities as a chairman.

“Jay Powell is a first-rate Federal Reserve chairman,” Mr. Greenspan said. “I’ve known him for years. He’s extremely competent. His competence is such that I don’t worry about where the Fed’s going.”