With stocks at all-time highs despite only tepid economic growth, there’s little sign of a bubble forming in markets, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told CNBC on Thursday.
“There’s always going to be concern not to get to a point where we have the seeds of a future crisis,” Lew said. “The analysis I’ve seen doesn’t give me reason to be worried right now.”
Lew said that policymakers still need to see what’s going on in firms and markets, and have the regulatory tools to deal with problems when they develop.
Lew is also determined to finish implementing the Dodd-Frank financial services reform. “The real problem we saw in 2008 and 2009 is our regulatory institutions had not kept pace with the evolution of our financial institutions,” he said. “We need to always stay ahead of that curve.”
The Treasury secretary also said that the economy is moving forward and the sense of imminent crisis in Washington has receded. “Towards the end of the year there was a sense of imminent crisis; we’re a little bit beyond imminent crisis,” Lew said. “We still have a lot of work to do but there doesn’t seem to be any push to create a crisis over the debt limit or over shutting down the government. That’s helpful.”
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