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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2005
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Accounting Problems at Fannie Mae

Accounting Problems at Fannie Mae

Date: November 15, 2005
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: On September 22, 2004, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Supervision (OFHEO) made public a report that was highly critical of accounting methods at Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise that plays a leading role in the secondary mortgage market. OFHEO charged Fannie Mae with not following generally accepted accounting practices in two critical areas: (1) amortization of discounts, premiums, and fees involved in the purchase of home mortgages and (2) accounting for financial derivatives contracts. According to OFHEO, these deviations from standard accounting rules allowed Fannie Mae to reduce volatility in reported earnings, present investors with an artificial picture of steadily growing profits, and, in at least one case, to meet financial performance targets that triggered the payment of bonuses to company executives. On November 15, 2004, Fannie Mae reported that it was unable to file a third-quarter earnings statement because its auditor, KPMG, refused to sign off on the accounting results. On December 15, 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), after finding inadequacies in Fannie’s accounting policies and methodologies, directed Fannie Mae to restate its accounting results since 2001. Shortly thereafter, the company’s CEO and CFO resigned. It is estimated that earnings since 2001 will be revised downwards ...
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Affiliates in Banking, Finance, and Commerce: Development and Regulatory Background

Affiliates in Banking, Finance, and Commerce: Development and Regulatory Background

Date: April 27, 2005
Creator: Jackson, William D.
Description: The proliferation of corporate affiliates in banking, finance, and commerce has figured in discussion of several policy issues, including how to protect against (1) losses incurred by affiliated companies; (2) anticompetitive “tying” of bank and nonbank financial services; and (3) misuse of financial data of consumers. This report outlines the nature and evolution of affiliates, primarily from a regulatory perspective. It provides background for discussing financial issues involving corporate affiliates.
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Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues

Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues

Date: November 23, 2005
Creator: Monke, Jim
Description: The federal government has a long history of providing credit assistance to farmers by issuing direct loans and guarantees, and creating rural lending institutions. These institutions include the Farm Credit System (FCS), which is a network of borrower-owned lending institutions operating as a government-sponsored enterprise, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which makes or guarantees loans to farmers who cannot qualify at other lenders. When loans cannot be repaid, special bankruptcy provisions help family farmers reorganize debts and continue farming (P.L. 109-8 made Chapter 12 permanent and expanded eligibility). S. 238 and H.R. 399 (the Rural Economic Investment Act) would exempt commercial banks from paying taxes on profits from farm real estate loans, thus providing similar benefits as to the Farm Credit System.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: August 29, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the non-insured assistance program and emergency disaster loans. In recent years, Congress frequently has made supplemental financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers on an ad-hoc basis, most notably in the form of direct crop disaster payments and emergency livestock assistance. Congress provided an estimated $3.1 billion of such assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-7) for 2001 and 2002 crop and livestock losses. Some farm groups would like to see similar assistance provided for 2003 losses, particularly in regions of the Midwest and West that have experienced prolonged drought conditions. To date, no ad-hoc assistance has been made available for 2003 losses.
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Bank and Thrift Deposit Insurance Premiums: The Record from 1934-2004

Bank and Thrift Deposit Insurance Premiums: The Record from 1934-2004

Date: January 3, 2005
Creator: Miles, Barbara L & Jackson, William D
Description: Since federal deposit insurance first came into being in the mid-1930s, commercial banks and savings associations (thrifts) have paid premiums into government insurance reserves to cover losses due to financial institution failures. Banks and thrifts have come to offer similar services and the government has standardized insurance premiums for the two institutions to reflect their competition. Deposit insurance premiums have been the subject of legislation several times over recent years including measures passed by the House. Most banks and thrifts pay essentially no premiums, but the potential for future assessments continues to drive “reform” legislation. This report provides the rationale and amounts of assessments since federal deposit insurance began and will be updated annually.
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Bankruptcy Relief and Natural Disaster Victims

Bankruptcy Relief and Natural Disaster Victims

Date: September 14, 2005
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many have questioned whether implementing the new procedures of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), P.L. 109-8, scheduled to go into effect on October 17, 2005, should be delayed. This report considers whether bankruptcy law in general, and the BAPCPA in particular, may present unique challenges to financial recovery for those whose life, livelihood, and/or home have been damaged or destroyed.
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The Berne Union: An Overview

The Berne Union: An Overview

Date: November 8, 2005
Creator: Jackson, James K
Description: The Berne Union, or the International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers, is an international organization comprised of 54 public and private sector members that represent various segments of the export credit and investment insurance industry. Within the Berne Union, the United States is represented by the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and four private-sector firms and by one observer. Congress, through its oversight of Eximbank and OPIC, as well as international trade and finance, has interests in the functioning of the Berne Union.
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Budget Reconciliation: Projections of Funding in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

Budget Reconciliation: Projections of Funding in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

Date: October 28, 2005
Creator: Peterson, Chris L
Description: In FY2005, six states faced the prospect of running out of federal funds in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This was the first time since the program’s creation in 1997 that multiple states faced such a shortfall. The shortfalls were avoided by the redistribution of funds from other states’ original SCHIP allotments that had not been spent by the end of the three-year period of availability. To address this, the reconciliation proposal approved by the Senate Finance Committee would reduce the period of availability for original allotments from three years to two.
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Campaign Finance

Campaign Finance

Date: May 19, 2005
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, long centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. This report discusses campaign finance practices, enduring issues and today’s paramount issues. In addition it presents the Legislative Action in the 108th and 109th Congress, as well as the Congressional efforts to close perceived loopholes in Federal Election Law.
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Campaign Finance

Campaign Finance

Date: May 25, 2005
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, long centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. This report discusses campaign finance practices, enduring issues and today’s paramount issues. In addition it presents the Legislative Action in the 108th and 109th Congress, as well as the Congressional efforts to close perceived loopholes in Federal Election Law.
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Campaign Finance

Campaign Finance

Date: June 27, 2005
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, long centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. This report discusses campaign finance practices, enduring issues and today’s paramount issues. In addition it presents the Legislative Action in the 108th and 109th Congress, as well as the Congressional efforts to close perceived loopholes in Federal Election Law.
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Campaign Finance

Campaign Finance

Date: April 20, 2005
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, long centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. This report discusses campaign finance practices, enduring issues and today’s paramount issues. In addition it presents the Legislative Action in the 108th and 109th Congress, as well as the Congressional efforts to close perceived loopholes in Federal Election Law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance

Campaign Finance

Date: April 20, 2005
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Description: This report discusses campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today's paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition.
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Campaign Finance Reform: Regulating Political Communications on the Internet

Campaign Finance Reform: Regulating Political Communications on the Internet

Date: September 20, 2005
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige & Cantor, Joseph E
Description: In October 2002, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) promulgated regulations exempting from the definition of “public communication” those communications that are made over the Internet. In response to the FEC’s final rules, the two primary House sponsors of BCRA filed suit in U.S. district court against the FEC seeking to invalidate the regulations as opening a new avenue for circumvention of federal campaign finance law. In September 2004, in Shays v. FEC, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned some of the FEC’s new regulations. In response to the district court’s decision, in April 2005, the FEC published proposed new rules in order to conform to the Shays ruling. The proposed regulations reflect an attempt by the FEC to leave web logs, or “blogs,” created and wholly maintained by individuals, free of regulations under FECA, while extending limited regulation only to uses of the Internet involving substantial monetary transactions.
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Campaign Financing

Campaign Financing

Date: March 8, 2005
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: This is one report in the series of reports that discuss the campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today’s paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition.
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Campaign Financing

Campaign Financing

Date: January 5, 2005
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: This is one report in the series of reports that discuss the campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today’s paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition.
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Campus-Based Student Financial Aid Programs Under the Higher Education Act

Campus-Based Student Financial Aid Programs Under the Higher Education Act

Date: April 21, 2005
Creator: Smole, David P.
Description: This report discusses the issues likely to be considered during reauthorization are whether the campus-based programs provide types of aid to students that are not or cannot be provided via other postsecondary aid programs, and whether the current formulas for allocating funds to institutions for the operation of these programs are optimal. Provisions specific to each program, such as requirements for community service under FWS and terms and conditions of Perkins Loans also may be considered.
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Chapter 12 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code: Reorganization of a Family Farmer or Fisherman

Chapter 12 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code: Reorganization of a Family Farmer or Fisherman

Date: August 2, 2005
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: Chapter 12 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code dealing with “family farmer” reorganization, temporarily extended 11 times since its original enactment, is made permanent by enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, P.L. 109-8. It is amended to include “family fisherman” as well. This report surveys the highlights of this chapter
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China and the CNOOC Bid for Unocal: Issues for Congress

China and the CNOOC Bid for Unocal: Issues for Congress

Date: September 15, 2005
Creator: Nanto, Dick K & Kumins, Lawrence C
Description: The bid by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to acquire the U.S. energy company Unocal for $18.5 billion raised many issues with U.S. policymakers. This report provides an overview and analysis of the CNOOC bid, U.S. interests, implications for U.S. energy security, U.S. investment in the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China’s) oil industry, the process for reviewing the security and other implications of foreign investment in the United States, Congressional activity, and a listing of unresolved issues.
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China's Currency: Brief Overview of U.S. Opinions

China's Currency: Brief Overview of U.S. Opinions

Date: November 29, 2005
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E
Description: Many are concerned that China’s currency is undervalued and that this injures the U.S. economy. The Chinese authorities say they are not manipulating their currency and they want to move as soon as possible to a market-based yuan. A new exchange rate procedure was announced in July 2005 but has not resulted in meaningful changes in the yuan’s international value. This report reviews the issues and discusses alternative approaches the United States might take to encourage more rapid reform.
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China's Currency Peg: A Summary of the Economic Issues

China's Currency Peg: A Summary of the Economic Issues

Date: April 25, 2005
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M & Labonte, Marc
Description: This report evaluates that assertion, and considers other effects China’s peg has on the U.S. economy. These include the beneficial effects on consumption, interest rates, and investment spending. Nationwide, these effects should offset job loss in the trade sector, at least in the medium term. Several bills have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address China’s currency policy, including H.R. 1216, H.R. 1498, H.R. 1575, S. 14, S. 295, S. 377, and S. 593; some would impose trade sanctions against China unless it accepted a market-based system of currency valuation.
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China’s Currency: U.S. Options

China’s Currency: U.S. Options

Date: July 29, 2005
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E
Description: In recent years, the United States and China have disagreed whether China’s national currency, the yuan or renminbi, is properly valued compared to the U.S. dollar and whether China is manipulating its currency.1 The United States has pushed China to raise the value of its currency. Chinese officials say they want to make their exchange rate system more flexible, but China also needs long-term stability in its currency value in order to avoid dislocations. Chinese officials also say they will not bow to foreign pressure. China announced a new exchange rate procedure on July 21, 2005. This report summarizes this controversy, it describes actions and positions taken by the United States, China and other countries, and it discusses various approaches the United States might use to address this concern.
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China's Exchange Rate Peg:  Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy

China's Exchange Rate Peg: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy

Date: May 10, 2005
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M & Labonte, Marc
Description: The continued rise in the U.S.-China trade imbalance and complaints from U.S. manufacturing firms and workers over the competitive challenges posed by cheap Chinese imports have led several Members to call for a more aggressive U.S. stance against certain Chinese trade policies they deem to be unfair, such as China’s policy of pegging its currency (the yuan) to the U.S. dollar. Some Members assert this policy constitutes a form of “currency manipulation” intended to give China an unfair trade advantage and is contributing to the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
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Comparison of Tax Incentives of Domestic Manufacturing:  108th Congress

Comparison of Tax Incentives of Domestic Manufacturing: 108th Congress

Date: January 25, 2005
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G
Description: The enacted provision of this legislation (H.R. 4520), following the passage of the Senate’s version (then S. 1637) and the House bill (H.R. 4520) followed the Senate version, which allowed a deduction and would cover unincorporated firms as well as corporations. However, the proposal contained the broader definition of manufacturing in the House bill which included oil and gas extraction, utilities, construction, and electricity. This report discusses the provisions in these two versions of the subsidy as well as some of the issues surrounding alternative methods of providing a manufacturing subsidy.
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