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: #43, November 2013

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
In this month's letter, Bill Longbrake describes how forecasts of much stronger GDP growth in 2014 are based on significant improvements in consumer spending and investment and why these forecasts may turn out to be too optimistic. He also reviews the evolving debate about monetary policy which could lead to postponing raising the federal funds rate until 2016 or 2017. The letter also includes updates for employment and fiscal policy.

Insurance Needs a Federal Regulator – But Not the Fed
- Jim Sivon & Greg Wilson
The Financial Stability Oversight Council's recent designation of AIG and Prudential for enhanced regulation and supervision by the Federal Reserve Board invites a reexamination of proposals for federal insurance regulation. This article originally appeared on October 25 in the American Banker's BankThink.

Some Challenges and Opportunities for the Mortgage Industry in 2014
- Bob Barnett
Here is a list of developing obstacles and opportunities in the mortgage industry as 2013 winds down and 2014 begins.

The Basel Liquidity NPR in a Nutshell
- Ray Natter
This article provides a brief explanation of the recently issued NPR that would impose quantitative liquidity requirements on large bank and thrift holding companies and many SIFIs.

The Longbrake Letter – Special Edition: Income Inequality
-Bill Longbrake
There is ample evidence that all is not well in the United States – America's social system is crumbling. Trends in income, wealth, and cultural inequality are indicia of the decline. The dominance of shareholder wealth maximization and efficient markets theory and the operation of free markets has been coincident with these trends and amplified them. Concurrently, America's social contract shifted from a high-wage to a low-wage orientation. Collectively, the American social system has become less inclusive and more extractive – primarily serving the interests of a few. Bill describes three sets of initiatives that could drive successful transformative change of America's social system and contribute to reversing the consequences of income, wealth, and cultural inequality.