Bob Greifeld: Here's the circuit breaker conundrum

How Nasdaq managed trading frenzy: CEO

As volatility within global equity markets has spiked, the discussion about exchange circuit breakers has taken center stage. Nevertheless, exchanges have to be careful about how tight those breakers are, Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld said Tuesday.

"As we went on yesterday, we asked ourselves if our breakers are tight enough," Greifeld said in a CNBC "Squawk Box" interview. "But the philosophical argument is, you want the circuit breaker to be the pause that refreshes, but you don't want the circuit breaker to prevent somebody from buying or selling."

Greifeld added that this is actually one of the main problems with the Chinese stock market. "They've put in these absolute breakers where you can't sell when you want to, and that's going to have a negative long-term impact," he said.

Read More When do circuit breakers kick in? CNBC Explains

China's benchmark plunged another 7.6 percent Tuesday, a day after falling more than 8 percent and leading world equities down.

Robert Greifeld, President and CEO of Nasdaq.
Melody Hahm | CNBC

Nevertheless, Wall Street eyed a strong open Tuesday, with Dow Jones futures trading up more than 500 points.

Greifeld also made his remarks after China's central bank said it would cut interest rates for the fifth time in nine months.