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: #49, May 2014

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
First Quarter real GDP growth was a barely visible 0.1 percent and appears likely to be revised down to -0.6 or -0.7 percent. In this month's letter Bill Longbrake explains why significant shortfalls in both residential and business investment were not solely due to bad weather and bode poorly for growth reaching expected levels during the remainder of 2014. Bill's special topic this month is burgeoning income and wealth inequality and Thomas Piketty's new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, in which Piketty forecasts inexorable increases in income and wealth inequality in industrialized countries with insidious and deleterious impacts on democratic values of justice and fairness.

Public Policy Conflict
- Bob Barnett
Policy makers face a conflict in trying to make conditions easier for community banks by removing some of the consumer protective features from the regulations where those banks are concerned, while retaining them for larger banks. So far they seem to be ignoring the conflict.

Greater Cooperation Among Banking Regulators is Needed
- Jim Sivon
Recent supervisory announcements by the OCC and the Federal Reserve Board indicate a need for greater cooperation and coordination between the two agencies.