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: #52, September 2014

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
In this month's letter, Bill Longbrake discusses how the U.S. economy is gradually gaining momentum, while downside risks are diminishing. There are signs that the virtuous circle of higher employment, higher income, higher spending and higher investment may finally be getting underway. But, the pace of improvement remains painfully slow with little indication that the still very large output gap will close quickly. Bill provides detailed commentary about trends in GDP, employment, consumer income and spending, prospects for interest rates and the backlog of tax and spending issues that await the lame duck session of Congress after the November congressional elections.

Constitutional Issues with SIFI Designation Process
- Mort Rosenberg
This article questions the constitutionality of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

Progress of Minority Depository Institutions
- Bob Barnett
The FDIC recently completed a study on the progress of Minority Depository Institutions. Whether further recommendations for legislative or regulatory changes will follow from the FDIC is still to be discovered.

The Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act
- Jim Sivon
The Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act, which has been approved by the House Financial Services Committee, has significant implications for the Federal Reserve's conduct of monetary policy and its role as a supervisor and regulator of financial institutions.