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Jack Welch: How strong dollar could 'crater us'

The Federal Reserve should not increase interest rates given current economic circumstances because growth is not that great and the strong dollar is hurting American multinational corporations, former General Electric chief Jack Welch said Thursday.

In an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box," Welch said he understands near zero percent rates can lead to "misallocating funds, putting more and more people into risk assets." But he said there's a trade off. "The economy is really tough. Every dollar of exports we lose from our companies here is troublesome. It could crater us."

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A stronger dollar makes goods sold by U.S. companies overseas more expensive, which can put them at a pricing disadvantage to their foreign competitors.

"I worry about the dollar breaking parity, going below this through the euro," Welch said, because European companies are going to "kick butt all over the world."

The dollar index against a basket of foreign currencies has risen 23 percent in the past year, though in the last month or so the greenback has dipped a bit.

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In a separate appearance on "Squawk Box," Blackstone Chairman and CEO Steve Schwarzman also addressed the dollar and the U.S. economy. "Given the government regulations ... and the fact the dollar has gotten stronger and growth around the world is a little less, I think if we can do 2.5 [percent economic growth] that's pretty good."

Schwarzman said that's a level that's "ended up working out quite well for us." Blackstone, a private equity powerhouse, has $310 billion in assets under management.

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