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: #62, September 2015

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
Primarily courtesy of Chinese policy communication bungling and China’s slowing economy, turbulence has returned once again to global financial markets. Financial conditions in the U.S. are the tightest they’ve been since the panic of 2007-09. Yet another round of falling commodity prices has raised investor fears that the global economy is slowing, perhaps materially. But, on the home front all is well … or, is it? The Fed didn’t raise rates … perhaps there is reason to worry. Productivity is barely discernible, inflation refuses to rise, and in spite of a plunging unemployment rate, labor wage rates show no sign of acceleration. Is recession around the corner? Probably not just yet, but growth certainly could slow down. Could it be that monetary and fiscal policies are fostering malaise rather than growth? Bill Longbrake ponders these issues and questions and more in this month’s letter.

Online Marketplace Lending Moves on Stage
- Bob Barnett
The recent Request for Information of the Treasury Department should produce a first good detailed look into the online marketplace lending industry, the size and reach it currently has, and perhaps an inkling of whether or not it has the ability to grow beyond its present limits.

Another Approach to GSE Reform
- Jim Sivon
It has been over seven years since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed and were placed into conservatorship. As proposals designed to end the conservatorship and establish a new framework for the secondary mortgage market have faltered, here is a proposal that would break the impasse that has blocked action on GSE reform legislation.

Two Recent Court Cases Regarding Preemption
- Ray Natter
This article discusses two recent cases involving preemption under the National Bank Act. In the first case, the Court of Appeals held that preemption does not protect a non-bank company that seeks to impose a penalty fee in connection with an account purchased from a national bank. In the second case, the District Court found that an attempt by New York City to impose regulatory type requirements on national banks was preempted.

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