But the volume of public commentary greatly diminished in recent decades as politicians concluded that pressuring the Fed was counterproductive. The administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all made a policy of silence on monetary policy.
Krishna Guha, the head of the central bank strategy team at Evercore ISI, said he did not expect Mr. Trump’s remarks to influence the Fed, and he saw no evidence that markets were paying attention. But he added that if Mr. Trump did succeed, he would most likely regret doing so.
If Mr. Trump’s attacks convince markets that the Fed may move more slowly, or show greater tolerance of inflation, bond yields would rise, which would put further downward pressure on equity prices.
Still, Mr. Guha — formerly a senior official at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — said that the president’s criticisms were not good for the central bank or the future conduct of economic policy.
“You never want to be in a position where some part of society doesn’t just question whether you made the right call or not, but whether you made that call in the public interest,” he said.
Mr. Trump’s aides have sought to play down his broadsides. Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, said Mr. Trump was just offering his two cents. “I don’t think he’s ‘calling out the Fed,’ quote unquote,” Mr. Kudlow told reporters outside the White House on Thursday morning. “I really mean this. I think he’s giving you his opinion. He is a, obviously, successful businessman, he’s a very well-informed investor. He has his views. But he’s not saying to them, ‘Change your plan.’”
Mr. Kudlow added, “He knows the Fed is independent, and he respects that.”
Mr. Trump’s criticisms appear strangely at odds with the way he has handled the most powerful means at his disposal to influence monetary policy. Since taking office less than two years ago, he has had the unusual opportunity to fill six of the seven seats on the Fed’s board of governors.