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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2008
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle
Description: This report outlines challenges faced by Tajikistan since its five-year civil war ended in 1997. It discusses U.S. policy and assistance. Basic facts and biographical information are provided. This report may be updated. Related products include CRS Report RL33458, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, updated regularly.
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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle
Description: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)1 was established in 1969 and began operations in 1971 to promote and assist U.S. business investment in developing nations. OPIC is a U.S. government agency that provides project financing, investment insurance, and other services for U.S. businesses in 154 developing nations and emerging economies. OPIC is currently authorized through March 9, 2009 under the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329).
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China's "Hot Money" Problems

China's "Hot Money" Problems

Date: July 21, 2008
Creator: Martin, Michael F. & Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: China has experienced a sharp rise in the inflow of so-called "hot money," foreign capital entering the country supposedly seeking short-term profits, especially in 2008. Chinese estimates of the amount of "hot money" in China vary from $500 billion to $1.75 trillion. The influx of "hot money" is contributing to China's already existing problems with inflation. Efforts to reduce the inflationary effects of "hot money" may accelerate the inflow, while actions to reduce the inflow of "hot money" may threaten China's economic growth, as well as have negative consequences for the U.S. and global economy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Annuities and the Securities and Exchange Commission Proposed Rule 151A

Annuities and the Securities and Exchange Commission Proposed Rule 151A

Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Webel, Baird
Description: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released a proposed rule that would effectively reclassify equity indexed annuities as a security product in addition to being an insurance product. This report presents the different types of annuities, explains the taxation of annuities, and disentangles the federal and state roles in the regulation of annuities. It outlines the proposed SEC rule and its current status.
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Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: The international market for Islamic finance has grown between 10% to 15% annually in recent years. Islamic finance historically has been concentrated in the Persian Gulf countries, but has expanded globally to both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. There is a small but growing market for Islamic finance in the United States. Through international and domestic regulatory bodies, there has been effort to standardize regulations in Islamic finance across different countries and financial institutions, although challenges remain. Critics of Islamic finance express concerns about possible ties between Islamic finance and political agendas or terrorist financing and the use of Islamic finance to circumvent U.S. economic sanctions. Proponents argue that Islamic finance presents significant new business opportunities and provides alternate methods for capital formation and economic development.
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Currency Manipulation: The IMF and WTO

Currency Manipulation: The IMF and WTO

Date: May 8, 2008
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E.
Description: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO) approach the issue of "currency manipulation" differently. The IMF Articles of Agreement prohibit countries from manipulating their currency for the purpose of gaining unfair trade advantage, but the IMF cannot force a country to change its exchange rate policies. The WTO has rules against subsidies, but these are very narrow and specific and do not seem to encompass currency manipulation. Several options might be considered for addressing this matter in the future, if policymakers deem this a wise course of action.
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Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Financial Problems: Frequently Asked Questions

Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Financial Problems: Frequently Asked Questions

Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Weiss, N. Eric
Description: Recent turmoil in the housing and financial markets have caused concern over the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are chartered by Congress as government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and are widely believed to have an implicit guarantee from the federal government. The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) -- the GSEs safety and soundness regulator -- has repeated assurances that Fannie and Freddie have adequate capital, but as highly leveraged financial intermediaries, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have limited resources against losses. This report analyzes various aspects of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in relation to the financial turmoil that began in September 2008.
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Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis

Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis

Date: August 15, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: Foreign direct investment in the United States1 declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate. In 2007, according to Department of Commerce data, foreigners invested $237 billion. Foreign direct investments are highly sought after by many State and local governments that are struggling to create additional jobs in their localities. While some in Congress encourage such investment to offset the perceived negative economic effects of U.S. firms investing abroad, others are concerned about foreign acquisitions of U.S. firms that are considered essential to U.S. national and economic security.
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National Flood Insurance Program: Treasury Borrowing in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

National Flood Insurance Program: Treasury Borrowing in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Date: September 19, 2008
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Description: In 2008, Hurricanes Ike, Gustav, and Dolly made landfall in the United States, causing widespread flood damage. Exactly three years earlier, claims and expenses related to the massive flooding caused by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma had financially overwhelmed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that the NFIP will need about $3 billion in additional borrowing authority to cover the claims currently outstanding and a yet to be determined amount for the 2008 Hurricanes. Congress is currently working to reform the NFIP while retaining its original intent to keep rates affordable for people to buy the insurance.
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China's Holdings of U.S. Securities: Implications for the U.S. Economy

China's Holdings of U.S. Securities: Implications for the U.S. Economy

Date: February 27, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Description: This report examines the importance to the U.S. economy of China's investment in U.S. securities, as well as U.S. concerns over the possibility that China might unload a large share of those holdings, including the likelihood that this would occur, and the potential implications such action could have for the U.S. economy. The report concludes that a large sell-off of Chinese Treasury securities holdings could negatively affect the U.S. economy, at least in the short-run. As a result, such a move could diminish U.S. demand for Chinese products and thus could lower China's economic growth as well.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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