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: #58, March 2015

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
Economic activity in the U.S. has been somewhat softer over the last two months. Notwithstanding this the U.S. economy is performing reasonably well. Better data reports are likely as winter turns to spring. Nonetheless, there are serious disconnects in key economic phenomena. Employment growth is very strong, GDP growth is weak and productivity is negative. In this month's letter, Bill Longbrake discusses the reasons for these disconnects and the long-run consequences of underinvestment. Other forces are stirring the collapse in energy prices, the strong dollar, the plunging euro, and ultra-low interest rates which eventually may pose significant challenges for the U.S. economy.

Who Will Do Needed Research in the Housing Industry?
- Bob Barnett
Based on reports from experts in the field, regulators should reassess the work they have done in the mortgage servicing sphere if the desire is to create a more robust housing market. The present effort has erected barriers to reaching that objective.

The Congressional Budget Resolutions and Financial Services
- Jim Sivon
This article highlights provisions in the House and Senate budget resolutions related to financial services. These provisions are not binding policy, but provide insight into the priorities of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee.

The Problem of Fail-Safe Banking
- Ray Natter
Since the financial crisis the Congress and banking regulators have tightened regulation and appear to be striving for a "fail-safe" banking system. But a fail-safe banking system may inapposite to a bank's role in providing capital to new companies and to enable existing companies to grow.