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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
How Treasury Issues Debt
This report examines Treasury's debt management practices, focusing on the auction process, how prices and interest rates of securities are determined, and the role of market participants in the process. It also addresses the role of debt plays in influencing present and future budget outcomes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795624/
Puerto Rico and Health Care Finance: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Puerto Rico's health care system, including how federal health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program [CHIP]) and private health insurance requirements apply to Puerto Rico. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795577/
Puerto Rico's Current Fiscal Challenges
This report discusses multiple challenges the government of Puerto Rico faces in the fall of 2015. Concerns regarding the sustainability of Puerto Rico's public finances have intensified over the past year, despite several measures taken by the island's government to reduce spending, increase revenues, and restructure its obligations. The Puerto Rican government outlined a medium-term strategy to address those challenges in a fiscal plan put forth in mid-September 2015. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795584/
Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law
This report summarizes major provisions of federal law and offers a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions which govern financial activity of federal election campaigns. The laws are based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, 1979, and 2002, and the Revenue Act of 1971. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795510/
Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Financial Problems: Frequently Asked Questions
This report discusses the decision to place Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conservatorship and to a certain extent, the housing, mortgage, and even general financial markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795530/
Current Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides information on current debates over exchange rates in the global economy. It offers an overview of how exchange rates work; analyzes specific disagreements and debates; and examines existing frameworks for potentially addressing currency disputes. It also lays out some policy options available to Congress, should Members want to take action on exchange rate issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795550/
Financial Market Intervention
This report provides answers to some frequently asked questions concerning ongoing financial disruptions and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). It also summarizes legislation in the 111th Congress such as H.R. 384, the TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009 and H.R. 703, "Promoting Bank Liquidity and Lending Through Deposit Insurance, Hope for Homeowners, and other Enhancements." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795565/
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2015
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795535/
Social Security Administration: Workloads, Resources, and Service Delivery
This report provides an overview of SSA's workloads, resources, and service delivery since FY1996, the first full fiscal year in which SSA became an independent agency. It also covers issues for Congress, focusing on recommendations made by the independent SSAB, Government Accountability Office, SSA's Office of the Inspector General, and the National Research Council. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795505/
Economic Analysis of a Mortgage Foreclosure Moratorium
This report discusses the legislation that creates a voluntary program to enable troubled mortgage borrowers and lenders to refinance their loans through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795609/
The U.S. Financial Crisis: The Global Dimension with Implications for U.S. Policy
This report examines the global ramifications of the financial crisis, which exposed fundamental weaknesses in financial systems worldwide, and despite coordinated easing of monetary policy by governments and trillions of dollars in intervention by governments and the International Monetary Fund, the crisis continues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795679/
Russia's Economic Performance and Policies and Their Implications for the United States
This report discusses the Russian economy, which has grown impressively since 1999 and, by some measures, has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The improvement in the Russian economy is arguably a factor in the boldness with which the Putin leadership has reasserted Russia's status as a world power. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795661/
The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present
The results of previous government financial interventions are summarized in this report. In response to ongoing financial turmoil that began in the subprime mortgage-backed securities market, the federal government has intervened with private corporations on a large scale and in an ad hoc manner three times from the beginning of 2008 through September 19, 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795671/
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits
This report discusses the Social Security system that provides monthly benefits to qualified retirees, disabled workers, and their spouses and dependents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795574/
The Federal Election Commission: Overview and Selected Issues for Congress
The report provides background information about key areas of controversy and context that might be relevant for Congress as the House and Senate approach their oversight duties, appropriate funds, consider nominations, and explore options for restructuring the FEC or maintaining the status quo. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795891/
The Federal Election Commission: Enforcement Process and Selected Issues for Congress
This report provides Congress with a resource for understanding the Federal Election Commission's (FEC) enforcement process and context for why enforcement is consequential. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795896/
Small Business: Access to Capital and Job Creation
This report discusses the role of small business in job creation and retention, then provides an assessment of the supply and demand for small business loans and recently enacted laws designed to enhance small business access to capital. It also examines recent actions concerning the SBA's budget and concludes with a brief overview of legislative options available to address small business access to capital issues during the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795882/
The National Debt: Who Bears Its Burden?
This report discusses the burden of a national debt and who bears that burden, which is a matter of Congressional concern since the gross national debt of the United States stands at some $5.5 trillion dollars. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795874/
Legislation Eliminating the Federal Reserve's Surplus
The Fed retains some of its profits in a surplus account, which currently has a balance of $29.3 billion. This report discusses H.Amdt. 824 to the highway bill (H.R. 22) and H.R. 3189, which would permanently eliminate the surplus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795875/
Federal Reserve: Oversight and Disclosure Issues
This report provides an overview of existing Fed oversight and disclosure practices. It also considers the potential impact of greater oversight and disclosure on the Fed's independence and its ability to achieve its macroeconomic and financial stability goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795899/
Social Security: The Windfall Benefit Provision
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision, which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive because of Social Security's benefit formula that favors workers with smaller amounts of Social Security-covered career earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically inaccurate and often unfair. In both the 107th and 108th Congresses, five bills have been introduced that would modify or repeal the provision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795359/
Financial Institution Insolvency: Federal Authority over Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Depository Institutions
This report provides an overview of the U.S. credit crunch and its effect on Fannie, Freddie, Banks, and Thrifts. The report discusses the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and insolvent banks and thrifts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795484/
Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law
This report summarizes major provisions of federal law and offers a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions which govern financial activity of federal election campaigns. The laws are based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, 1979, and 2002, and the Revenue Act of 1971. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795451/
Financial Services and General Government (FSGG): FY2015 Appropriations
This report discusses the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill, which includes funding for the Department of the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the judiciary, the District of Columbia, and more than two dozen independent agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795405/
Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and highlights major issues for Congress. The first section discusses how the MDBs operate, and the second section discusses the role of Congress in the MDBs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795908/
Federal Reserve: Oversight and Disclosure Issues
This report provides an overview of existing Fed oversight and disclosure practices. It also considers the potential impact of greater oversight and disclosure on the Fed's independence and its ability to achieve its macroeconomic and financial stability goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795914/
The EMV Chip Card Transition: Background, Status, and Issues for Congress
This report describes the financial harm caused by data breaches and explains how those breaches are carried out, and discusses resolved and remaining impediments to completing the EMV transition in the United States and identifies areas of potential congressional interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795905/
Federal Reserve: Emergency Lending
This report provides a review of the history of Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 344), including its use in 2008. It discusses the Fed's authority under Section 13(3) before and after the Dodd-Frank Act. It then discusses policy issues and legislation to amend Section 13(3). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795921/
"Regulatory Relief" for Banking: Selected Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses regulatory relief legislation for banks in the 114th Congress that, at the time this report was published, has seen floor action or has been ordered to be reported by a committee. Many, but not all, of the bills would make changes to the Dodd-Frank Act (P.L. 111-203), wide ranging financial reform enacted in response to the financial crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795919/
Troubled Asset Relief Program and Foreclosures
Increasing foreclosure rates and problems in financial markets are some of the issues addressed in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110 343), which created the Troubled Asset Relief Plan (TARP). This report is concerned with Title II of the bill, which would require the Treasury to spend a minimum of $40 billion of the second $350 billion on foreclosure mitigation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795468/
China's Recent Stock Market Volatility: What Are the Implications?
China's two main stock markets, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE), experienced rapid price increases from about mid-2014 to mid-2015. However, from June 12 to July 7, 2015, the Shanghai and Shenzhen Composite Indices fell by 32% and 40%, respectively. This report briefly examines this volatility and the Chinese government's response. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795701/
Designation of Global 'Too Big To Fail' Firms
This report provides background on the the Financial Stability Board's (FSB) designation process for systemically significant financial institutions, but takes no position on any potential benefits or shortcomings of that process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795728/
Auction Basics: Background for Assessing Proposed Treasury Purchases of Mortgage- Backed Securities
This report discusses the administrations' proposal to use reverse Dutch auctions to purchase troubled assets -- primarily mortgage-related securities from financial institutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795791/
Reporting Issues Under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
This report describes current issues and recent changes to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) of 1975. The report also provides a brief explanation of how recent reporting revisions may affect the reporting of loans covered by the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 and the Federal Housing Administration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795790/
Reporting Requirements in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
This report describes the various reporting requirements in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) and is organized according to the entities required to prepare and submit the reports. It also provides some concluding observations regarding those requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795782/
The U.S. Financial Crisis: The Global Dimension with Implications for U.S. Policy
This report examines the global impact of the financial crisis and resulting challenges, moving forward. The crisis exposed fundamental weaknesses in financial systems worldwide, and despite coordinated easing of monetary policy by governments and trillions of dollars in intervention by governments and the International Monetary Fund, the crisis continues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795711/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report discusses two of the four major responsibilities of the Federal Reserve (Fed) as the nation's central bank: execution of monetary policy and ensuring financial stability through the lender of last resort function. This report provides an overview of these mandates and activities, recent developments, and the role of Congressional oversight. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770554/
The Greek Debt Crisis: Overview and Implications for the United States
This report provides a brief overview of the Greek dept crisis, including developments through July 2015 when questions about Greece's future in the Eurozone resurfaced and emergency negotiations resulted in a third financial assistance program for Greece. It also discusses potential implications of the crisis for the U.S. economy and U.S.-European cooperation on broader strategic and economic cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770511/
Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008
This report discusses the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, P.L. 110-289, which changes many laws affecting both the housing and mortgage markets. It also surveys the most important changes caused by the act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770564/
HUD Proposes Administrative Modifications to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
This report focuses on borrower disclosure, particularly with respect to making all pertinent information about loan terms and settlement costs transparent, so that consumers can make well-informed financial decisions when choosing mortgage products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770590/
Federal Reserve: Emergency Lending
This report provides a review of the history of Section 13(3) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act; P.L. 111-203), including its use in 2008. It discusses the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) authority under Section 13(3) before and after the Dodd-Frank Act. It then discusses policy issues and legislation to amend Section 13(3). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770585/
Tax Expenditures and the Federal Budget
This report discusses tax expenditures, the federal budget and the reform of the federal tax system and provides tax expenditure analysis. The perception that the federal tax system is too complex and unfair could lead to public support for tax reform. Past efforts to reform the federal tax system have included policies to rein in the use and expense of tax expenditures--the special deductions, exclusions, exemptions, and credits resulting in revenue losses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770558/
Puerto Rico's Current Fiscal Challenges: In Brief
This report discusses the current state of Puerto Rico's public finances. Puerto Rico faces several fiscal hurdles in 2015. Concerns regarding the sustainability of Puerto Rico's public finances have intensified over the past year, despite several measures taken by the island's government to reduce spending, increase revenues, and restructure its obligations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770562/
Comparing Global Influence: China's and U.S. Diplomacy, Foreign Aid, Trade, and Investment in the Developing World
This report compares the People's Republic of China's (PRC) and U.S. projections of global influence, with an emphasis on non-coercive means or "soft power," and suggests ways to think about U.S. foreign policy options in light of China's emergence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770615/
Reforming the Regulation of Government-Sponsored Enterprises in the 110th Congress
This report provides background on the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), discusses reform issues, and summarizes the provisions of House- and Senate-passed versions of H.R. 3221. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770607/
The African Development Bank Group
This report discusses the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, which is a regional development bank (RDB) "dedicated to combating poverty and improving the lives of people of the continent." It comprises three lending facilities: the market rate facility, the AfDB; a concessional lending facility, the African Development Fund; and a trust fund established by Nigeria to lend to low-income African countries. The Bank has 53 African members, as well as 24 non-regional members, including the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743486/
Pakistan's Capital Crisis: Implications for U.S. Policy
This report discusses Pakistan's capital crisis. In the autumn of 2008, Pakistan was in urgent need of an estimated $4 billion in capital to avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. The elected government of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani sought short-term financial assistance from a number of sources, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China, and an informal group of nations (including the United States) known as the "Friends of Pakistan." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743609/
Federal Securities Law: Insider Trading
This report discusses various regulations regarding insider trading violations. Insider trading in securities may occur when a person in possession of material nonpublic information about a company trades in the company's securities and makes a profit or avoids a loss. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743653/
Multiemployer Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans: A Primer and Analysis of Policy Options
This report discusses the nature of multiemployer defined benefit (DB) pension plans, and issues regarding their financial solvency. DB pension plans are sponsored by more than one employer and maintained as part of a collective bargaining agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743645/
Small Business Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report provides an overview of key provisions related to the Small Business Administration (SBA), based on appropriations in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743618/
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