Editor's Note: This is 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: #11, March 2011

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
Political unrest in the Middle East has already pushed oil prices up more than 20% in just a few weeks and there is considerable uncertainty whether this shock is temporary or might persist and lead to even higher oil prices.  These events have the potential to be a game changer for the worse for the global economy, including possible escalation of sovereign debt risks in Europe.  This month's letter also summarizes significant financial and political events from World War I to the Great Depression and draws comparisons with the recent financial and political crises.

Let's Not Forget Financial Competitiveness
- Greg Wilson, Guest Author
The President has launched a new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness focused on manufacturing and trade. But, we can't forget that the nation also needs a vibrant and competitive financial sector in an increasingly global economy. There are three practical initiatives that can be taken to ensure a more balanced and effective regulatory outcome as new Dodd-Frank rules come on-line in the months ahead.

Fundamental Questions Raised by “Term Sheet”
- Bob Barnett
The, by now, well-known document known as the “Term Sheet" raises fundamental questions of the appropriateness of certain kinds of government action to establish industry wide mortgages servicing standards.

Putting the Cart before the Horse
- Jim Sivon
The Financial Stability Oversight Council should define systemic risk before taking policy actions related to systemic risk.

DFA Changes Suggested in New McCoy Book
- Bob Barnett
In her new book, Professor McCoy, now Assistant Director for Mortgages and Home Equity Markets at CFPB, lists a number of changes that were not accomplished in the Dodd Frank Act that she would like to see adopted. Brief comments by the author are made following a description of each.