Lead Left Interview – Tim Hopper (Part 2)

This week we continue our conversation with Tim Hopper, managing director and chief economist for TIAA-CREF. Tim has over 20 years of experience writing and speaking about the global economy. Prior to joining TIAA-CREF, Mr. Hopper held various leadership positions in global banking and real estate. He also served as a senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas for over 10 years. Second of two parts – View part one

TLL: Which raises the question, where are we in the economic cycle?

Tim Hopper: The length of the business cycle depends less on time and more on exactly what bubble is forming, and how long that bubble will take to build. It’s the Fed’s job to reanimate an economy after a recession, but to do so in a manner that doesn’t provide too much stimulus or create distortions. Of course QE has created distortions which need to be addressed very carefully.

TLL: Do you think, for example, 17 million new auto sales is a sign of a bubble?

TH: Not necessarily. This is a sign that manufacturing is returning to the economy, but also shows that the fleet of cars on the road is extremely old and we are going through a replacement cycle.