Former Obama Chief of Staff Bill Daley told CNBC on Thursday the financial landscape has changed dramatically, with central banks around the world diverging and "causing a ripple effect."
"We're in a very different world right now," said Daley, who also was President Bill Clinton's commerce secretary and is now head of U.S. operations at Swiss hedge fund Argentière Capital.
With global monetary policymakers taking actions to address economic realities at home, "we're in a period of uncertainty and it's going to continue and the volatility is going to continue," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview,
For example, at a time when the Federal Reserve has ended its massive bond buying and is considering a possible interest rate hike, the European Central Bank announced last week its own $1.2 trillion bond purchase program, which has put more pressure on the euro against the dollar.
As a byproduct of a stronger dollar, many U.S. companies that garner a large portion of sales from overseas are getting hurt. "It is a little ironic to say a strong dollar is bad, where many of us have believed long term it's a good thing," Daley said.
But in recent days, the ascension of the U.S. currency has shown up as the spoiler in the latest earnings at such multinational corporations as Procter & Gamble, DuPont and Microsoft—all among the 30 stocks that made up the Dow Jones Industrial Average. "There were definitely challenges, and FX was the prime one," P&G Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said Tuesday on CNBC.
On the flipside, U.S. companies that generate the bulk of their sales domestically tend to do better when the dollar goes up. "There are some companies that do quite well because of the strong U.S. dollar," Daley said. But there's little evidence of that in this earning season's headlines.
"You could say [the same] about the energy market," he said. "The prices of oil are down and that helps a lot of companies, helps the consumer. But other companies are hurt rather dramatically."
Among those hurt, Caterpillar this week said the collapse in crude weighed on earnings in the latest quarter, and will continue to negatively impact results going forward. The company's products include engines to power oil and gas exploration equipment. "None of us sitting here six months ago would have ever guessed $45 oil," Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman told CNBC on Tuesday.
U.S. oil prices have fallen more than 50 percent over the past year, trading early Thursday around $45 a barrel, revisiting the lows of March 2009.