Sheila Bair: It's Past Time to Raise Interest Rates

Economic activity in the U.S. continued to expand at a “modest” pace, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book report released Wednesday.

This comes as the debate over whether to raise interest rates continues to make headlines.

Former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair joined the FOX Business Network to explain why she thinks it is past time to raise rates.

“We’ve been keeping interest rates far too low for far too long,” Bair said. “I think it has distorted a lot of pricing and asset valuations and getting back to a more normalized environment would be good. They need to do it slowly and gradually, but they need to get on with it.”

Some economists and politicians, including Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, have criticized the Fed for propping up the U.S. economy. While some would call it “Fed bashing,” Bair said she sees it as a legitimate issue.

“I think that’s raising a legitimate issue about the wisdom of this really long, protected period of zero interest rates,” she said.

She added: “It’s important to remember the Fed… was created by Congress, it is a product of a Democratic process. And it does have ultimate accountability to the public. That’s not interfering with Fed independence or Fed bashing. That’s just factually accurate. So I do think it’s appropriate to debate this and the Fed has appropriate independence and needs to decide what it’s going to do.”