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Losing patience? Let it rip, ex-Fed official says

The markets have been contrarian, so the Federal Reserve should just go ahead and do it—lose its patience, former Dallas Fed President Robert McTeer said Wednesday.

McTeer, now a distinguished fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, was interviewed on CNBC as the financial world anxiously awaited the Fed's statement scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. It could signal how close, or far, we are to an interest rate hike.

"The February employment report was so good and yet the Dow went down 300 points," McTeer said on "Squawk on the Street." "If we are going to react badly to good news, I'm saying go ahead and let it rip."

In recent statements, Fed Chair Janet Yellen has used the word "patient" to signal the continuation of the central bank's near-zero interest rate policy, which has been used to pull the economy out of the Great Recession.

The Federal Open Market Committee will wrap up its March meeting on Wednesday and release its highly anticipated statement at 2 p.m. EDT. Yellen will give a news conference at 2:30 p.m.

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"The stock market is the referendum in this country of what the Fed is doing, so they are going to be very reluctant to do major damage to the stock market," McTeer said.

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Brian Reynolds, Rosenblatt Securities chief market strategist, said we are in the midst of a long-term credit boom as a result of financial engineering. A short-term pullback this month with another drop in oil prices could make for a short-lived pullback.

"When the Fed finally does tighten, credit booms intensify because funds need to invest more aggressively to make up for the losses," Reynolds said on "Squawk on the Street." "From the long term perspective I'm fairly bullish on stock prices, although right now we are in a correction."

The Federal Reserve building in Washington.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Federal Reserve building in Washington.

Also Wednesday the OECD, the Paris-based think tank, released its interim global economic outlook for the year. It was revised slightly upward on lower oil prices but noted that rapid growth was still far off due to sluggish investment and a poor labor market.

Catherine Mann, OECD chief economist, said the Fed has a lot to consider.

"The Federal Reserve is quite conscious of issues of tightening too soon and they do not want to be in the position of stymieing recovery," she said on "Squawk on the Street." "Right now it's got very good headwinds."

She added that the Fed will have to assess the extent of "real investment" before it takes action.