Bubbles are forming where we're not looking: Pros

US stands 'tall' among global markets: Pros
US stands 'tall' among global markets: Pros

Today's zero interest rate environment has risks, and bubbles could be forming, Richard Parsons told CNBC on Friday.

"Of course there are going to be bubbles. There are going to be empty spots because they don't yield to the kind of analysis the Fed does, which is trailing as opposed to leading," the former Citigroup and Time Warner chairman said in a "Squawk Box" interview.

On a scale of concern ranging from 1 to 10, he said he's at 4. Parsons, now senior adviser at Providence Equity Partners, said he would be higher, but the U.S. market looks strong on a relative basis despite dislocations and potential bubbles.

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Foreign investors recognize that, and the result is the United States will probably see more capital flowing into its bond and stock markets, said Rebecca Patterson, chief investment officer at Bessemer Trust. That will keep pushing up the dollar, which will be good for purchasing power and will allow the Federal Reserve to take its time on an interest rate hike.

Parsons and Patterson told "Squawk Box" they believes risks will come from areas not being monitored.

Patterson pointed to the "absolute explosion" of exchange traded funds.

"Is that going to be the next structured note crisis, where moms and pops own things? And they're not all the same. Just in high-yield credit there's something like 17 U.S. high-yield ETFs. They're not all liquid. They don't all have the same counter-party risk. They don't all have the same methodology. When we get a down market and you want to sell them, you might not be able to sell them at the price you think you should," she said.

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Liquidity in the bond market is another concern, she said, citing an issuance this week of government debt from the Philippines that yielded a subscription amount of $6 billion, compared with a target of $1.5 billion.

"That's the search for yield. That's going to build up bubbles. So there's going to be things out there that are building that won't hurt us today or tomorrow, but it's the things that are going to start the next downturn that we're not monitoring enough," she said.