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Andrew Harnik / AP

The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its most recent meeting, and one of the more interesting details was what FOMC members reported they were hearing from business leaders in their districts:

" [Committee members said their] business contacts attributed the [recent] improvement in business sentiment to the expectation that firms would benefit from possible changes in federal spending, tax, and regulatory policies. A few participants indicated that some of their contacts had already increased their planned capital expenditures."

Why it matters: At least some business leaders, and stock market investors in general, are assuming that business-friendly policies like corporate tax cuts and infrastructure spending will soon be enacted. According to the minutes, however, most Fed economists think it prudent to wait until we actually see what the GOP Congress and President Trump can agree on before adjusting their economic forecasts.

The Fed didn't suggest any change to its forecast of "gradual" rate increases, which is expected to mean 2 or 3 hikes this year.

Go deeper

Study: Fear of debt keeps Latinos out of college

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fear of never being able to pay off school loans is keeping many young Latinos in the U.S. from going to college or completing a degree, according to a report published in September.

State of play: Latinos tend to have more difficulty repaying school debt than white student borrowers, according to Federal Reserve data, at the same time that they need more loans in order to afford tuition.

28 mins ago - World

Scoop: Biden administration objects to Israeli settlements plan

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (L) meets with Secretary of State Tony Blinken. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has privately protested to the Israeli government over its plan to approve the planning and construction of more than 3,000 new housing units in the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: The approvals for new homes in the settlements will be the first since President Biden assumed office, and come after Biden and his top aides personally pressed Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to restrain settlement activity and decrease the number of new housing units.

2 hours ago - World

Pentagon warns of ISIS-K capabilities outside Afghanistan

The site of an airstrike conducted by the U.S. against a planner for ISIS-K in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan in August. Photo: Xinhua via Getty Images

U.S. intelligence believes ISIS-K has the "intent" to eventually launch attacks outside of Afghanistan and could be capable of doing so "somewhere between six or 12 months," a top Pentagon official told senators Tuesday.

Why it matters: The U.S. withdrawal and subsequent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has raised fears that terrorist groups will reconstitute and potentially pose a renewed threat to the U.S. homeland.

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