Fed has created 'a fear environment': Economist

As the market awaits the first U.S. interest rate hike in more than nine years, participants should put aside the notion that the Federal Reserve knows something the Street doesn't, experts told CNBC ahead of a two-day meeting of the Fed's October policymaking meeting.

The Federal Reserve has held interest rates near zero since December 2008.

The money savers would have earned had interest rates been higher has not entered the economy because Americans are trying to put away more money to compensate for low rates of return, Drew Matus, UBS deputy chief U.S. economist, said Tuesday.

"Everyone's in a hoarding measure because what you have is this fear that you're never going to be able to retire," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "We're not in a greed environment. We're in a fear environment."

Read MoreThe Fed's next move? Negative interest rates

Confidence is low in part because the average American and market participant believes the Fed knows something they don't, and central bankers are telling them things are bad, he added.

The Fed kept interest rates steady at its September meeting, saying it wanted to see further labor market improvement and evidence inflation would increase toward its 2-percent target. Central bankers also cited concerns about weakness overseas derailing the U.S. recovery.

Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at Lindsey Group, said the Fed is looking at the same economic data the Street is reviewing.

"I think people who think, 'Oh, the Fed didn't raise rates because they see something that we don't know,' I think they should put that aside," he told "Squawk Box."

Read More Why Fed wants to keep us guessing: Ex-Fed official

The Fed is unlikely to raise rates at its meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday because little has changed since September, Boockvar said. December may be off the table, too, he added.

But Matus said all of the boxes on the Fed's checklist have been ticked, and it could still raise rates this year.

"You get up to the top of the diving board, you look down, it seems like a big jump, and you don't want to do it and you start to walk back. And then eventually someone teases you and you run off the end of the diving board," he said.

"I think they're going to run off the end of the diving board in December."

Sign Up for Our Newsletter Morning Squawk

CNBC's before the bell news roundup
Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about about our products and services.
By signing up for newsletters, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.