- Brian Snyder/Reuters
St. Louis Fed president James Bullard wants to raise interest rates.
Bullard, who appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Monday morning, said he argued for raising rates last week at the Fed’s latest meeting. Bullard, however, is not a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, which votes on monetary-policy decisions.
But in addition to outlining his case for a rate hike, Bullard also made an argument directly against Jim Cramer, CNBC’s biggest on-air personality and arguably the face of financial media for many Americans.
Bullard said Cramer had more or less been cheerleading the Fed to keep interest rates near 0% because it would help the stock market.
Calling this “unsavory,” Bullard appeared clearly unhappy with Cramer’s commentary around the relationship between the Fed’s actions and the stock market. Bullard said Cramer was one of the best around at breaking down the value of a company, but he was clearly less than enthused about Cramer’s more macro commentary.
“I have a message for your friend Cramer,” Bullard said. “The Fed cannot permanently raise stock prices. So, the idea that it’s all about the Fed going one way or the other and this is raising stock prices is not true … To have him cheerleading for low rates 24 hours per day is, I think, unsavory.”
The video here unfortunately isn’t good quality, but these are certainly interesting comments coming from a Fed official toward a member of the media.
In his appearance on CNBC, Bullard basically outlined that the Fed was as close to its goals of full employment and price stability as it had been in “50 or 60” years.
In a presentation on Saturday, Bullard included this chart, which sums up his argument.
- St. Louis Fed
Cramer appears on CNBC at 9 a.m. most mornings on “Squawk on the Street,” so we’ll see whether he mentions Bullard’s criticisms.