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: #60, May 2015

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
First quarter U.S. real GDP growth came in at a paltry 0.2 percent and updated economic activity reports promise to push growth well down into negative territory. Where is the much expected benefit of lower oil prices? When the data don't fit expectations excuses proliferate. But, a close examination cannot explain away all of the unexpected weakness. In this month's letter, Bill Longbrake discusses how misguided monetary and fiscal policies may be undermining economic growth and how global monetary policies may be fostering yet another bubble.

The Value of Smaller Community Banks
- Bob Barnett
Do smaller community banks pay a role that will not be filled by others if they were to vanish, or are they like the family farm - a remembrance of things past that may or may not be justified in the present economy? At a minimum, they serve as a reminder that access to the banking system is crucial.

Federal Court Finds Dodd-Frank Does Not Change Preemption Standard for National Banks
- Ray Natter
A recent Federal district court case held that the Dodd-Frank Act did not change the preemption standard for national bank cases. The court held that the Dodd-Frank Act merely codified the existing preemption standard rather than create a new standard. If this reasoning is accepted by the other courts, the preemption cases decided prior to the Dodd-Frank Act will continue to be binding precedents within their respective jurisdictions, or in the case of Supreme Court decisions, throughout the United States.