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: #47, March 2014

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
The U.S. economy remains on a track of slow, but persistent, healing. But the long-run story remains one about an economy in which growth prospects have not only diminished considerably but appear to be worsening due to slowing labor force growth and low productivity. While recent news has been dominated by the Ukraine and the missing Malaysian airliner, reports of slowing growth and tight credit conditions in China are worrisome. In this month's letter Bill Longbrake discusses why China's economic miracle is approaching an endpoint and explains the difficulties China's leadership will have in managing transition to a mature, stable consumer-based economy. Developments in China bear close watching because they could lead to a significant negative surprise with global ramifications.

Cyber Threats to Financial Services
- Bob Barnett
Cyber threats have jumped to the highest priority among regulators of financial firms. There is good reason for protection against that risk to make the same jump in priorities of financial firms since the potential for damages is so high. It seems clear that very clever cyber criminals will target firms of all sizes, not just large ones.

The CFPB and the Business of Insurance: An Analysis of the Scope of CFPB's Authority Over Insurance Sales
- James Sivon and Adam Maarec
This article addresses the CFPB's authority over the business of insurance. The article argues that, contrary to an action taken by the agency last year, the agency lacks authority over most insurance activities.