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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues

U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues

Date: February 1, 2011
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: The United States is the largest investor abroad and the largest recipient of direct investment in the world. Some observers believe U.S. firms invest abroad to avoid U.S. labor unions or high U.S. wages, however, 70% of U.S. foreign direct investment is concentrated in high income developed countries. Even more striking is the fact that the share of investment going to developing countries has fallen in recent years. Most economists conclude that direct investment abroad does not lead to fewer jobs or lower incomes overall for Americans and that the majority of jobs lost among U.S. manufacturing firms over the past decade reflect a broad restructuring of U.S. manufacturing industries.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
El Salvador: Political, Economic, and Social Conditions and U.S. Relations

El Salvador: Political, Economic, and Social Conditions and U.S. Relations

Date: January 3, 2011
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando
Description: This report discusses the state of the El Salvadoran government and recently elected President Mauricio Funes. This report also discusses the relationship between El Salvador and the United States, notably U.S. efforts to restore democracy and initiate economic reform in El Salvador. This report also briefly addresses the effects of the current financial crisis on El Salvador's economy, poverty levels, and crime rates.
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Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2011

Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2011

Date: March 11, 2011
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration has requested and how much Congress has appropriated for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs) since 2000. It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations. It will be updated periodically as annual appropriation figures are known.
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Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues

Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues

Date: April 3, 2012
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank, EXIM Bank, or the Bank), an independent federal government agency, is the official export credit agency (ECA) of the United States. It helps finance U.S. exports of manufactured goods and services, with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers, primarily in circumstances when alternative financing is not available. Members of the 112th Congress may examine issues related to the Ex-Im Bank that center on the economic rationale for the Bank; the impact of the Bank on the federal budget and U.S. taxpayers; the Bank's support for specific types of business or industries; the current balance between the Bank's advancement of U.S. commercial interests and other U.S. policy goals; the competitive position of the Bank compared to foreign ECAs; and the Bank's organizational structure.
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The STOCK Act, Insider Trading, and Public Financial Reporting by Federal Officials

The STOCK Act, Insider Trading, and Public Financial Reporting by Federal Officials

Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Maskell, Jack
Description: An overview of the STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012), which was signed into law on April 4, 2012, affirms and makes explicit the fact that there is no exemption from the "insider trading" laws and regulations for Members of Congress, congressional employees, or any federal officials.
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Changing the Federal Reserve's Mandate: An Economic Analysis

Changing the Federal Reserve's Mandate: An Economic Analysis

Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: This report discusses a number of implementation issues surrounding an inflation target. These include what rate of inflation to target, what inflation measure to use, whether to set a point target or range, and what penalties to impose if a target is missed.
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The Eurozone Crisis: Overview and Issues for Congress

The Eurozone Crisis: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: February 29, 2012
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.; Belkin, Paul; Mix, Derek E. & Weiss, Martin A.
Description: The Eurozone's economic crisis threatens economic stability in Europe and beyond. Four specific economic challenges faced are high debt levels and public deficits, weaknesses in the European banking system, recession and high unemployment in some Eurozone countries, and persistent trade imbalances. Three issues for Congress regarding these challenges are how this situation will impact the US economy, IMG involvement, and how the US and Europe will cooperate to solve these issues.
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Globalization, Worker Insecurity, and Policy Approaches

Globalization, Worker Insecurity, and Policy Approaches

Date: December 22, 2011
Creator: Ahearn, Raymond J.
Description: Today's global economy, or what many call globalization, has a growing impact on the economic futures of American companies, workers, and families. The current wave of globalization is supported by three broad trends: technology, increase in world supply of labor, and reduced government policies to international trade and investment.
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The Depreciating Dollar: Economic Effects and Policy Response

The Depreciating Dollar: Economic Effects and Policy Response

Date: February 23, 2012
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.
Description: This report discusses the trend of depreciation of the dollar since 2002. This raises concern among some in Congress and the public that the dollar's decline is a symptom of broader economic problems, such as a weak economic recovery, rising public debt, and a diminished standing in the global economy. However, a falling currency is not always a problem, but possibly an element of economic adjustments that are, on balance, beneficial to the economy.
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A Securities Transactions Tax: Brief Analytic Overview with Revenue Estimates

A Securities Transactions Tax: Brief Analytic Overview with Revenue Estimates

Date: June 1, 2012
Creator: Keightley, Mark P.
Description: This report briefly discusses recent STT (Securities Transactions Tax) proposals, summarizes the possible effects on financial market volatility and speculation, and provides estimates of the potential revenue effects.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status

Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status

Date: May 18, 2012
Creator: Webel, Baird
Description: The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was created by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act1 (EESA) enacted on October 3, 2008, to address the ongoing financial crisis. This report provides a brief outline of the programs created under TARP, recent changes made by Congress, and a summary of the current status and estimated costs of the program. It also provides an Appendix that contains detailed discussions of the individual TARP programs. This report will be updated as warranted by market and legislative events.
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Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress

Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: February 29, 2012
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: Sovereign debt, also called public debt or government debt, refers to debt incurred by governments. Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, public debt in advanced economies has increased substantially. A number of factors related to the financial crisis have fueled the increase, including fiscal stimulus packages, the nationalization of private-sector debt, and lower tax revenue. Even if economic growth reverses some of these trends, such as by boosting tax receipts and reducing spending on government programs, aging populations in advanced economies are expected to strain government debt levels in coming years.
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Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress

Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: April 18, 2012
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: This report provides an overview of the MDBs and highlights major issues for Congress. The first section discusses how the MDBs operate, including the history of the MDBs, their operations and organizational structure, and the effectiveness of MDB financial assistance. The second section discusses the role of Congress in the MDBs, including congressional legislation authorizing and appropriating U.S. contributions to the MDBs; congressional oversight; and U.S. commercial interests in the MDBs.
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The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options

The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options

Date: June 11, 2012
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: This report gives an overview of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC)—enacted on a temporary basis by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and extended through the end of 2012 by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010— which is a partially-refundable tax credit that provides financial assistance to taxpayers who are attending college, or whose children are attending college. There are a variety of policy options mentioned in the report regarding the AOTC, including extending the credit, extending a modified AOTC, or repealing the Hope and Lifetime Credits and extending a modified AOTC that includes provisions included in these credits.
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Evaluating the Current Stance of Monetary Policy Using a Taylor Rule

Evaluating the Current Stance of Monetary Policy Using a Taylor Rule

Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: Oversight of the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) monetary policy decisions rests with Congress. But oversight is encumbered by the absence of a straightforward relationship between interest rates and economic performance. Further, the Fed's policy decisions are discretionary, meaning there is no objective, transparent “yardstick” for evaluating their decisions. A simple rule of thumb guide to monetary policy decisions called a “Taylor rule” is an intuitive way to judge actual policy against some objective, albeit simplistic, ideal. Taylor rules prescribe a federal funds target based on inflation and the output gap (i.e., the difference between actual gross domestic product [GDP] and potential GDP) and can be adjusted to reflect a variety of policy goals.
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International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress

International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: This report evaluates the purpose, membership, financing, and focus of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) activities. It also discusses the role of Congress in shaping U.S. policy at the IMF and concludes by addressing key issues, both legislative and oversight-related, that Congress may wish to consider, including: the role of the IMF as a lender of last resort; the adequacy of IMF resources; and the effectiveness of IMF surveillance.
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The Future of the Eurozone and U.S. Interests

The Future of the Eurozone and U.S. Interests

Date: January 17, 2012
Creator: Ahearn, Raymond J.; Jackson, James K.; Mix, Derek E. & Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: Seventeen of the European Union's 27 member states share an economic and monetary union (EMU) with the euro as a single currency. These countries are effectively referred to as the Eurozone. What has become known as the Eurozone crisis began in early 2010 when financial markets were shaken by heightened concerns that the fiscal positions of a number of Eurozone countries, beginning with Greece, were unsustainable. This report provides background information and analysis on the future of the Eurozone in six parts, including discussions on the origins and design challenges of the Eurozone, proposals to define the Eurozone crisis, possible scenarios for the future of the Eurozone, and the implications of the Eurozone crisis for U.S. economic and political interests.
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Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions

Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions

Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: The Federal Reserve (Fed) defines monetary policy as the actions it undertakes to influence the availability and cost of money and credit. Since the expectations of market participants play an important role in determining prices and growth, monetary policy can also be defined to include the directives, policies, statements, and actions of the Fed that influence how the future is perceived. In addition, the Fed acts as a “lender of last resort” to the nation's financial system, meaning that it ensures continued smooth functioning of financial intermediation by providing financial markets with adequate liquidity. This role has become of great importance following the onset of the recent financial crisis. Congress has delegated responsibility for monetary policy to the Fed, but retains oversight responsibilities to ensure that the Fed is adhering to its statutory mandate “maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” This report looks at the background and influences of current legislation that would affect the Fed's practices.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues

NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Ek, Carl
Description: This report gives an overview of the feasibility of burdensharing amongst North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states due to the global financial crisis and defense budget cuts in many of the contributing nations.
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What Is Systemic Risk? Does It Apply to Recent JP Morgan Losses?

What Is Systemic Risk? Does It Apply to Recent JP Morgan Losses?

Date: May 24, 2012
Creator: Murphy, Edward V.
Description: Systemic risk refers to the possibility that the financial system as a whole might become unstable, rather than the health of individual market participants. Stable financial systems do not transmit or magnify shocks to the broader economy. A firm, person, government, financial utility, or policy might create systemic risk if (1) its failure causes other failures in a domino effect; (2) news about its assets signals that others with similar assets may also be distressed, called contagion; (3) it contributes to fire sales during price declines; or (4) its absence prevents other firms from using an essential service, called critical functions. This report discusses how systemic risk may apply to JP Morgan's recent losses.
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Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank: Issues and Policy Options for Congress

Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank: Issues and Policy Options for Congress

Date: January 1, 2012
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: This report provides background information and potential issues and options for Congress relating to the reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank. The scope of this report is limited to Ex-Im Bank reauthorization issues.
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The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

Date: June 11, 2012
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: In June 2005, G8 finance ministers proposed the new Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). The MDRI proposes to cancel debts of some of the world's poorest countries owed to the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and African Development Bank. This report discusses MDRI's implementation and raises some issues regarding debt relief's effectiveness as a form of foreign assistance for possible congressional consideration.
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Multilateral Development Banks: General Capital Increases

Multilateral Development Banks: General Capital Increases

Date: January 27, 2012
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: This report discusses issues related to each of the major Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) simultaneously seeking increases in their capital bases to fund the continued expansion of their development lending programs. U.S. authorization to participate in the GCIs was provided in the FY2011 and FY2012 budget measures. Key issues regarding U.S. participation in the GCIs include: comparative effectiveness of bilateral and multilateral aid, scope of MDB activity, role of emerging economic powers, U.S. bidding for MDB-funded projects, and anti-corruption policies.
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China-U.S. Trade Issues

China-U.S. Trade Issues

Date: August 10, 2011
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, both with respect to the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department