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: #23, March 2012

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
Optimism, like Spring flowers, is blossoming. Is this another false start or have we finally achieved break out? There are reasons to be hopeful because risks have abated or been deferred, but they have not been eliminated. In this month's letter, Bill Longbrake reviews recent developments in GDP growth, explores future prospects for potential GDP growth and discusses developments in personal income and consumer spending, employment, oil prices and monetary policy. Special topics include why the European Union is unlikely to survive in its current political configuration and slowing growth in China. He also shares a few thoughts about the importance of economic and political institutions in shaping the relative success of nations in creating wealth and raising the standard of living for their citizens.

The After Glow of Magner v. Gallagher
- Bob Barnett
The excitement around the case of Magner v. Gallagher that was to be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court in February fizzled as the City of St Paul withdrew its petition under pressure from those who feared a decision by the Court would question the use of disparate impact theory under the Fair Housing Act. While nothing has changed in the law, therefore, the concern over the possible outcome expressed by supporters of disparate impact theory provides some guidance to where they feel the U.S. Supreme Court is on this issue.

Flatbush Gardens: The Latest Challenge to the Obama Recess Appointments
- Raymond Natter
A case involving the Flatbush Gardens apartment complex in Brooklyn, N.Y. may result in the the first U.S. court decision on the validity of the recess appointments made by President Obama on January 4, 2012. A decision is expected in the very near future, and this case could be the first step to the eventual Supreme Court resolution of this important issue.

What Happens to Treasury Support For GSEs After December 2012?
- Jim Sivon
This article discusses the level of Treasury support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after December 31, 2012.