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: #22, February 2012

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
The economic expansion in the U.S. appears to have entered a stage where the feedbacks are having a favorable, self-reinforcing impact. However, the economy is still fragile and remains vulnerable to setbacks. This month's letter examines recent developments in GDP, personal income and consumption, employment and monetary policy. Then, the letter explores the impact of income inequality in causing the greatest economic calamity the U.S. has experienced in the last 80 years and discusses the cultural inequality theme in Charles Murray's new book: Coming Apart.

What to do about Housing?
- Jim Sivon
This article focuses on a few ideas to re-start the housing market.

Filibuster, Cloture, Rules, the Constitution and the U.S. Senate
- Bob Barnett
Standing Rules of the U.S. Senate permit a minority of the Senate to prevent a majority from exercising its power. This article discusses those rules and the constitutional option that is potentially available to trump them.

The CFPB Needs to Be More Aggressive on Meeting Its Disclosure Priorities
- Raymond Natter
The CFPB has announced that one of its primary goals is disclosure simplification, so that the consumer can quickly and easily understand the terms and conditions of financial products. A recently issued CFPB rule relating to remittance transfer providers indicates that the agency has not yet achieved this worthwhile objective.