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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Swiss National Bank's Recent Currency Actions
This report presents the foreign exchange value of the Swiss franc relative to the euro and dollar. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501609/
Government Assistance for GMAC/Ally Financial: Unwinding the Government Stake
This report discusses government support given to Ally Financial, formerly known as General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), which provides auto financing, insurance, online banking, and mortgage and commercial financing. This report looks at how -- or even if -- GMAC will be able to pay back the government for Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501973/
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/metadc501634/
Tax-Exempt Bonds: A Description of State and Local Government Debt
This report provides information about state and local government debt. State and local governments often issue debt instruments in exchange for the use of individuals' and businesses' savings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501876/
"Living Wills": The Legal Regime for Constructing Resolution Plans for Certain Financial Institutions
One of the chief objectives of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DFA) is to promote financial stability within the United States, without the need for emergency governmental assistance to troubled firms. To achieve this goal, the DFA establishes a heightened regulatory regime for certain, generally large "covered financial institutions." A pillar of this heightened regulatory regime is that each covered financial institution must submit "credible" plans to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) detailing how the firm could be quickly resolved in an orderly fashion under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or other applicable insolvency regime "in the event of a material financial distress or failure." These resolution plans are commonly referred to as "living wills." This report reviews the legal structure of the DFA's living will requirements, pursuant to both DFA Section 165(d) and the regulations and guidance issued jointly by the FRB and FDIC, and explains the August 2014 joint announcement of the FRB and FDIC regarding the inadequacies of the 2013 living wills filed by the 11 largest, most complex financial institutions in the country. This report also examines some of the steps that these institutions might voluntarily take. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491021/
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently asked questions about Ex-Im Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491230/
Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?
A September 24, 2014, congressional notification (CN) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may reflect a new executive branch approach in assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay off some of the debts it incurs in providing various benefits and services to West Bank and Gaza residents. The CN indicates that USAID plans to obligate a total of $100 million in FY2014 bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians toward direct U.S. payments to PA creditors. This report briefly discusses the details and implications of this new alternative method. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462260/
State Small Business Credit Initiative: Implementation and Funding Issues
This report examines the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and its implementation, including Treasury's response to initial program audits conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Treasury's Office of Inspector General (OIG). The SSBCI provides funding, allocated by formula and distributed in one-third increments, to states, territories, and eligible municipalities (hereinafter referred to as states) to expand existing or create new state small business investment programs, including state capital access programs, collateral support programs, loan participation programs, loan guarantee programs, and venture capital programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491393/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491061/
Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?
A September 24, 2014, congressional notification (CN) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may reflect a new executive branch approach in assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay off some of the debts it incurs in providing various benefits and services to West Bank and Gaza residents. The CN indicates that USAID plans to obligate a total of $100 million in FY2014 bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians toward direct U.S. payments to PA creditors. This report briefly discusses the details and implications of this new alternative method. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463198/
Dark Pools in Equity Trading: Policy Concerns and Recent Developments
This report examines the confluence of factors that led to the rise of dark pools; the potential benefits and costs of such trading; some regulatory and congressional concerns over dark pools; recent regulatory developments by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which oversees broker-dealers; and some recent lawsuits and enforcement actions garnering significant media attention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461960/
Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues
This report discusses relevant portions of the U.S. corporate income tax system and how inversions have commonly been structured. It also looks at how Congress and Department of the Treasury have reduced the benefits of inversions, including The American Jobs Creation Act, as well as post-2004 inversions and treasury regulations, and policy options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462140/
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses the legislation in the 113th Congress regarding insurance regulation. Among the insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 113th Congress are the application of federal orderly liquidation authority to insurers (addressed in H.R. 605); the supervision of some insurers by the Federal Reserve (addressed in H.R. 2140, H.R. 4510, H.R. 5461, S. 2102, and S. 2270); and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (addressed in S. 534, S. 1926, S. 2244, H.R. 1155/H.R. 1064, and H.R. 4871). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462626/
Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues
This report addresses selected legal issues that may be raised regarding entitlement to Social Security benefits as Congress considers possible changes to the Social Security program in view of projected long-range shortfalls in the Social Security Trust Funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463125/
Designating Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs)
This report discusses congressional concerns regarding the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC) authorization to designate certain non-bank entities as Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFI). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462755/
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?
This report explains what the Social Security trust funds are and how they work. It describes the historical operations of the trust funds and the Social Security trustees' projections of future operations. It explains what could happen if Congress allowed the trust funds to run out. It also analyzes two scenarios that assume Congress waits until the moment of insolvency to act, showing the magnitude of benefit cuts or tax increases needed and how such changes would affect beneficiaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463289/
"Dark Pools" In Equity Trading: Significance and Recent Developments
This report discusses "Dark Pools", relatively recent and controversial electronic stock trading alternatives to traditional exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and now account for about 15% of overall trading volume. The report discusses the pros and cons of "dark trading", civil suits in reaction to Dark Pools and recent Securities and Exchange Commission actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462349/
Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices
This report describes Social Security trust fund investment practices under current law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461980/
Clean Coal Loan Guarantees and Tax Incentives: Issues in Brief
This report discusses certain federal financial incentive mechanisms for "clean coal" commercial projects; namely, loan guarantees and tax incentives. At issue for Congress is the extent to which the private sector has used these financial toolsto develop the technology needed for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while continuing to use available domestic coal reserves for electricity generation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462084/
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Debate
This report discusses the ongoing debate regarding the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a federal government corporation which is the the official export credit agency (ECA) of the U.S. Government. The bank's statutory charter expires on September 30, 2014, meaning that its authority to obligations generally would cease and a wind-down of operations would be required. The report gives four possible scenarios for approaches Congress could take in regards to approaching the bank's future authorization status. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462120/
Securities Fraud Class Action Certification: Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.
This report discusses requirements for securities fraud class action certification. The report also specifically examines each of the decisions made in the Halliburton cases, which proceeded through two complete rounds in federal district court, court of appeals, and the Supreme Court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462069/
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits
This report discusses the calculations that go into taxing Social Security benefits, which prior to 1984 were exempt from taxation but have since been taxed at gradually increasing levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463427/
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently asked questions about Ex-Im Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463458/
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently asked questions about Ex-Im Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463344/
Primer on Disability Benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This report provides an overview on federal disability benefits programs including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is an insurance program that provides benefits to individuals who have paid into the system and meet certain minimum work requirements, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a means-tested program that does not have work or contribution requirements, but restricts benefits to those who meet certain financial eligibility criteria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462061/
Social Security: The Trust Fund
This report covers how the Social Security program is financed and how the Social Security trust fund works. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461903/
Unlawfully Present Aliens, Higher Education, In-State Tuition, and Financial Aid: Legal Analysis
This report surveys key legal issues pertaining to unlawfully present alien students' access to higher education, in-state tuition, and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462719/
International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462399/
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options
This report provides both an in-depth description of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, an analysis of its economic impact, and an overview of various policy options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332894/
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options
This report provides both an in-depth description of this tax credit and an analysis of its economic impact. This report is organized to first provide an overview of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), followed by a legislative history that highlights the evolution of education tax credits from proposals in the 1960s through the recent extension of the AOTC at the end of 2012. This report then analyzes the credit by looking at who claims the credit, the effect education tax credits have on increasing college attendance, and administrative issues with the AOTC. Finally, this report concludes with a brief overview of various policy options, including tax law changes proposed in Chairman Camp's tax reform bill3 and in the President's FY2015 budget request. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463239/
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332864/
Foreign Holdings of Federal Debt
This report presents current data on estimated ownership of U.S. Treasury securities and major holders of federal debt by country. Federal debt represents the accumulated balance of borrowing by the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332921/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report discusses how the Federal Reserve (Fed) handles monetary policy, including background information about the execution of monetary policy, the recent and current stance of monetary policy, and current legislation and Congressional oversight that would affect the Fed's practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332938/
Tolling U.S. Highways
This report provides a brief history of tolling on federal roads and current law. The report discusses financial realities on toll roads and tolling policy issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332940/
Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues
This report discusses relevant portions of the U.S. corporate income tax system and how inversions have commonly been structured. It also looks at how Congress and Department of the Treasury have reduced the benefits of inversions, including The American Jobs Creation Act, as well as post-2004 inversions and treasury regulations, and policy options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306449/
Coordinated Party Expenditures in Federal Elections: An Overview
This report examines campaign finance law in the context of political party committee expenditures. It discusses relevant Supreme Court precedent and recent legislative activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491338/
The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI): Budget Authority and Request, FY2010-FY2015
This report discusses financial assistance for global climate change initiatives in developing countries. The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI) -- one of the three main pillars to the 2010 directive -- aims to integrate climate change considerations into relevant foreign assistance, from FY2008 enacted funding request for FY2010 through the FY2014. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306547/
Multilateral Development Banks: How the United States Makes and Implements Policy
This report analyzes how the United States makes policy towards the multilateral development banks (MDBs) and identifies ways by which Congress can shape U.S. policy and influence the activities of the banks themselves. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287963/
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287930/
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/metadc287901/
Selected Legislative Proposals to Reform the Housing Finance System
This report briefly explains the different approaches to housing finance reform offered by several legislative proposals, focusing on efforts to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and to reform the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287887/
Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program
This report looks at the background and current Congressional status of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284476/
The Volcker Rule: A Legal Analysis
This report provides an introduction to the Volcker Rule, which is the regulatory regime imposed upon banking institutions and their affiliates under Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-203). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284450/
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
This report provides an overview of the U.S. balance of payments, an explanation of the broader role of capital flows in the U.S. economy, an explanation of how the country finances its trade deficit or a trade surplus, and the implications for Congress and the country of the large inflows of capital from abroad. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284475/
Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding
This report provides an overview of the Small Business Administration (SBA) business loan guaranty programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284448/
IMF Reforms: Issues for Congress
This report provides information about the reforms made by the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December 2010, Congress's role in the reform process, and how the reforms could affect U.S. interests at the IMF. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462037/
Taxation of Hedge Fund and Private Equity Managers
This report discusses the major issues surrounding the tax treatment of hedge fund and private equity managers and will be updated as legislative developments warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462305/
Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities
This report analyzes the extent of foreign portfolio investment in the U.S. economy, assesses the economic conditions that are attracting such investments, and discusses the impact such investments are having on the economy. This report relies on a comprehensive set of data regarding capital flows represented by purchases and sales of U.S. government securities and U.S. and foreign corporate stocks and bonds into and out of the United States; the data is reported by the Treasury Department on a monthly basis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284489/
Highway and Public Transportation Infrastructure Provision Using Public-Private Partnerships (P3s)
This report discusses two broad policy options for Congress as it considers reauthorizing federal surface transportation programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284451/
Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program
This report looks at the background and current Congressional status of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282352/
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