Lead Left Interview – Tim Hopper

This week we chat 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.

The Lead Left: Tim, I think a number of our readers would be interested in your perspective on the economy, but particularly your perspective on the Fed’s rate strategy.

Tim Hopper: The problem has been the longer the Fed waits, the more they’re held hostage to global events. In particular, I think the Fed has overstayed its usefulness on qualitative easing. So much liquidity is being trapped in banking instead of the economy. So much of the distortion we’re seeing is being caused by this fact.

TLL: So the Fed is delaying the inevitable?

TH: We know there will be future business cycles. It’s important to clean up the trapped liquidity issue now. But another reason to raise rates is the reflation argument.