NEW YORK — New York Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo on Monday blasted the U.S. Federal Reserve for its decision to keep interest rates at zero, saying the central bank is in effect keeping gold prices artificially high.
Cuomo told reporters during a campaign stop in Albany that he wants to see the Fed rate the country’s rate.
He called the move “unjustified” and “a big step backward.”
Cuomo’s campaign is hoping to make the issue of gold in the political discourse, as well as the economy, a focus of his administration.
A gold market rally began in March after the Federal Reserve announced its intention to raise interest rates.
Gold prices surged in the wake of the announcement, reaching a high of $1,220 an ounce, but fell off a cliff as traders sought to protect their portfolios.
Since then, the market has rallied, but has been far more volatile than the $1.30-an-ounce rally the Fed announced in December.
Cuomio said during the news conference that his administration is taking a hard look at how the Fed would set interest rates, and how the market will react to a rate hike.
“The bottom line is that this decision has been made to create an artificially high level of financial stability in the economy by the Federal Open Market Committee.
That is not the Fed’s job to set interest rate,” Cuomo said.
“The Fed has been setting rates at 1.25 percent since the Great Depression, and I’m sure that many of the same people who voted for the Fed to be in control of our monetary policy are the ones who voted to let the Fed set interest policy today.”
A rate hike would likely increase the federal deficit and raise inflation, which is already running at 2.4 percent, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. While Cuomo has previously called for lower interest rates on gold, he has not made an official announcement about when he intends to propose such a move.
Cuomino did say he would work with lawmakers to create a $15 minimum wage in New York.
He did not specify how he would pay for it.