The Fed released its final Beige Book before the presidential election this week. Offering a qualitative look at the economy on a regional basis, the Beige Book can be worth a quick read.

The most recent edition seems to affirm the thinking of many regarding the economic recovery: it has slowed. 

Economic gains were described as “slight to modest” in this month’s edition. This is better than the “sharp and abrupt” contraction highlighted in the nadir of the COVID-19 pandemic. But “slight and modest” could leave something to be desired. Especially for a Fed that is not just looking to support the economic recovery but also accommodate the expansion.

So, is “slight to modest” enough to warrant a policy response out of the Fed?

“Not quite yet” seems the most natural answer to me. But with the stalemate over a new coronavirus relief package looking like it will eventually come to an end, we could see that change. If you were not aware of where the Fed stands on the stimulus debate, the economic adage of “more is better” does a decent job of explaining the Fed’s position.

But what the Fed could eventually do to further support the expansion remains to be seen. Increases in asset purchases, yield curve control (i.e. explicitly targeting ...

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