Doll: Fed Doesn't Want to Raise Rates Any Time Soon
The worst of the credit crunch is over, but the Federal Reserve is likely to keep interest rates on hold for a long time despite a surge in oil prices, as the U.S. economy still has to prove it is stabilizing, money manager Bob Doll said on Tuesday.
"The worst is behind us, but, if we are in a sub-par-growth environment, which we think we are and will be for some time in the U.S., when growth is slow, that is the environment where investors have trouble paying their bills, and therefore, credit will continue to turn bad," Doll, chief investment officer for equities and also vice chairman of BlackRock, told "Squawk Box."
"Certainly, (Fed Chairman) Ben Bernanke doesn't want to be raising rates any time soon," Doll added, saying the Fed needs to see the effects of the rate cuts and the fiscal stimulus plan economy before it moves on monetary policy.
But "there's no question that with oil prices, food prices, and certain countries' wage rates under pressure, central bankers around the world have to be vigilant," he said.
Candid comments about the risk of higher inflation from the weak dollar and high oil prices last week and on Tuesday from Bernanke have roiled financial markets, particularly since they came amid data showing the biggest jump in U.S. unemployment in 22 years.
The Fed has cut its fed funds rate seven times since mid-September 2007 for a cumulative 325 basis points.
Doll said the U.S. economy will likely skirt a recession but will remain in a "profits recession" in which both the financial and consumer goods sectors will post losses for the year.
"We've really yet to spend a lot of time on auto loans, credit-card loans, other consumer loans, and our guess is that there are more bad debts to come, and that will create moments of crisis in credit markets," Doll told CNBC.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank could lower interest rates because of lingering credit-related problems and difficulty in spurring growth, Doll said.
"If we are right about growth remaining slow in Europe and some credit problems remaining, it's not out of the question that the ECB could lower rates," he said.
ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said last week that it was "possible" that interest rates could rise as early as July, causing many economists to rejig their forecasts.
Doll said it was concerning that some emerging economies are tightening monetary policy at a time when global growth is below its long-term trend.
However, he said that equity valuations in China had returned to more reasonable levels and deserved more attention.
-- Reuters contributed to this report