Editor's Note: This was the inaugural issue of a monthly publication on economic trends and financial policy issues. In this publication you can read "The Longbrake Letter", an analysis of economic trends and conditions written by Bill Longbrake, as well as commentary on financial regulation and policy written by members of the law firm Barnett, Sivon & Natter, P.C., a Washington, DC based law firm that specializes in financial services law.

ISSUE: #01, May 2010

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
Bill's May economic outlook explores where GDP, employment, consumer spending and inflation may be headed and examines the forces and risks that are in play that will influence outcomes in coming months.

An Assessment of the Regulatory Authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Raymond Natter and Jim Sivon
We read the pending regulatory reform legislation to give the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau virtually unlimited regulatory authority over the structure of markets for consumer financial products and services and the design of products and services offered in such markets.

Needed: A Good Cost Benefit Analysis
- Robert Barnett
The government is rushing to pass a regulatory reform bill that will make major changes in the way financial services are offered in the U.S. As of yet, however, there has been no professional determination of the direct and indirect costs of those changes. It shouldn't be asking too much to have the government make a thorough cost-benefit analysis before they pass legislation of this magnitude.

The Other Shoe: "Basel III"
- Jim Sivon
In the wake of the financial crisis, support for strong capital and liquidity standards is almost universal. Yet, in their current form, the Basel III proposals could have unintended consequences for economic growth and stability.

Components of Economic Analysis
- Bill Longbrake
Thorough and systematic analysis of economic phenomena and trends involves rigorous critical thinking that integrates fundamental analysis, statistical/econometric modeling, and an understanding of human behavior. In this essay, Bill Longbrake describes how he goes about putting together his monthly economic commentaries.