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: #46, February 2014

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
In this month's letter, Bill Longbrake examines the supply side of the economy which determines in the long run how fast the economy can grow. While prospects for “good”, not “great” growth are favorable in 2014, long-term growth potential is declining because of falling employment participation and faltering investment and productivity. In addition to providing updates for key economic variables, Bill discusses proposals to deal with income inequality and specifically addresses the merits of raising the minimum wage rate.

The 2014 Congressional Calendar
- Bob Barnett
The number of calendar days left before the November elections does not represent the number of days Congress will be in session. In fact, it is not even close. Because of weekends, district work periods, holidays, late starts and early endings on certain days, primary contests in the states, and a variety of other activities that reduce the time spent on legislating, the number of days scheduled for legislative activity has already shrunk to double digits.

Are Agency Policy Statements Irrelevant in the Courts?
-Katie Wechsler
A recent Sixth Circuit opinion raises questions about the force of policy statements issued by government agencies. This article explores that case and its implications for the CFPB.