The economy was front and center in a virtual conference hosted by Penn State Lehigh Valley and featuring industry experts and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
The talk moved to another stimulus. "I do think that another round of stimulus is likely needed,” said Stephanie Larosiliere, head of municipal strategies and development at Invesco.
The US is still down more than 11 million jobs since the pandemic began and minorities and the poor are the hardest hit. All agreed another stimulus is needed because many people are at risk of default.
"Right now I think the view from both the federal government and the federal reserve, and certainly my view, is that, you know, we need to be dealing with this pandemic right now," said Ryotaro Tashiro of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell expressed the same view last week, saying you don't run much risk over doing it on a stimulus.
"All of the sudden we're gonna see consumers who are unable to pay back their loans, unable to borrow money to consume," Tashiro said.
"We need to know how bad can things get, how low can things go, and without some form of federal stimulus the downside protection isn't necessarily there," Larosiliere said.
However, with an election three weeks away, there isn't much will to get something done soon.
"We have come to terms with the fact that we will not see another round of stimulus until 2021,” Larosiliere said. "We're doing people a disservice by not making that clear."
Even though adding more debt might have negative consequences in the long term, like inflation, it's probably worth it.
"If we don't deal with these short-term problems right now then there will be no long-term future," Tashiro said.