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. The lawyers in the firm are also counsel to the international law firm, Squire Patton Boggs.

ISSUE: #69, March 2016

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
Bill Longbrake initiated a “Recession Watch” in last month's letter. He was explicit, however, that a watch only means that the possibility of recession has increased, not that it is necessarily likely to occur any time soon. Thanks to the Federal Reserve once again galloping to the rescue and the decline in the value of the dollar markets have stabilized, financial conditions have eased, and eager risk-taking is once again in vogue. Does this mean that fundamental global imbalances have dissipated? Bill believes little has changed. Optimists were ready to take advantage of extreme oversold market conditions and all they needed to swing into action was policy reassurance. What seems to be supporting stock prices and optimism is belief that monetary policy will cure all that ills the economy. Is that belief well founded? We shall see. In the meantime, Bill's “Recession Watch” continues, but as of this time an actual recession does not appear to be an imminent threat.

It Takes an Optimist
- Donald Lamson
It takes an optimist to observe recent news and economic events and not be concerned in the context of bank regulation. Against this background, Don Lamson offers a few observations as to prospects in this sector. Given the fact that 2016 is an election year, one will look in vain for any governmental effort to reduce regulatory requirements on banks, large or small.

An Alternative to Breaking Up the Banks
- Jim Sivon
Jim Sivon suggests that policy makers should give the Dodd Frank reforms a chance to work before breaking up the nation's largest banks.