WHEN: Today, Tuesday, April 12th
WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President and CEO Rob Kaplan and CNBC's Steve Liesman live from Dallas on CNBC's "Squawk Box" (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Tuesday, April 12th. Following are links to the video on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000508939, http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000508945, http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000508943 and http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000508949.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
KAPLAN ON BANKS
The banks over the last 10 years maybe got away from some practices that helped them become great firms. In particular, a focus on clients, serving clients' interests, suitability issues – and I think these fines are, in many cases, coming as a result of that. And I think you are seeing the banks being much tougher in terms of their own compliance standards, beefing up their compliance. And I think that is the good thing.
KAPLAN ON TAX REFORM
One of the reasons you are seeing this trend of companies looking more at taxation when revenue, growth and margin growth are harder to come by, people look at every possible cost aspect they can improve and that's the reason they are not looking more at taxes. I think the – so I understand why the Treasury did what it did, but I don't think it is a substitute and I think they would say it's not a substitute for a more comprehensive reform which takes into account that our companies derive much more of the revenues and profits from outside the United States.
KAPLAN ON TOO BIG TO FAIL
I think too big to fail is something we need to watch, but I think we have made excellent progress over the last seven or eight years in deleveraging the banks, making them more liquid and reducing the interconnectedness..I think the market might, over the next few years, take its own actions with companies to make these banks smaller, but I think, of the issues I see out there that are systemic, breaking up the big banks is not high on my list.
KAPLAN ON DECEMBER HIKE
The move in December I think was the right move, but I think we are going to have to be slow and patient – doesn't mean standing still – and I think we will make another move sometime in the not too distant future if GDP recovers in the way I expect. But I think people should expect it is going to be a slow, patient, gradual normalization. And so, no, I don't think December is a mistake.
KAPLAN ON STRUCTURAL ISSUES
Big issues that are going on in Japan, in Europe, and some of our big challenges in the United States cannot – they can be helped by monetary policy, but they're structural. Aging demographics, high levels of debt to GDP, other issues that could primarily be addressed through structural changes including fiscal policy – and so I think these lower rates around the world and the actions of some of the central banks buy these countries' time, but they really buy time to other actions they are going to have to address the structural issues.
KAPLAN ON TIMEFRAME
Our timeframe is a little longer than a week or a month or a quarter. And so when you look over a longer horizon, what we're trying to do is get ourselves to more normal level of rates because there's a cost to excessive commodation – it hurts savers, it creates distortions, and asset allocation. And so, I think we're going to have to take in to account all the data including what the currencies are doing and what's going on around the world as well as here and we'll try to move patiently, but do it in a thoughtful way.
KAPLAN ON GDP GROWTH
We've had other years where first quarter GDP was weak. Our own forecast is still that GDP growth will be a little under 2 percent for the year. And the reason we think that is we still think the consumer is going to remain strong this year, job market is strong. And so time will tell. We're going to have to see more data. I want to see more data because first quarter is very mediocre. But we still believe that the underpinnings for solid growth are there.
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