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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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 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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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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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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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.
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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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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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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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department