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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
China's Currency Devaluation

China's Currency Devaluation

Date: August 17, 2015
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report discusses China's recent changes to its method for determining the value of its currency (the renminbi). On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the People's Bank of China (PBC), China's central bank, surprised global financial markets by lowering the reference rate of the renminbi, effectively depreciating the currency.
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Glass-Steagall Act: Commercial vs. Investment Banking

Glass-Steagall Act: Commercial vs. Investment Banking

Date: June 29, 1987
Creator: Jackson, William D.
Description: This report discusses debate over reform of the Nation's financial structure in the 100th Congress includes re-examination of "the separation of banking and commerce." This separation was mandated by the Glass-Steagall Act (part of the Banking Act of 1933); and was carried forward into the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended in 1970 and thereafter. The resulting isolation of banking from securities was designed to (1) maintain the integrity of the banking system; (2) prevent self-dealing and other financial abuses; and (3) limit stock market speculation. By half a century later, the "wall" it created seemed to be crumbling, as bankers created new financial products resembling securities, and securities firms innovated new financial products resembling loans and deposits. The ongoing process of "financial deregulation" has evoked calls for Congress to give depository institutions new powers, especially in the securities field. Financial deregulation in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan has put additional pressure on Congress to re-examine this Act. Concerns over a seemingly fragile system of depository institutions persist, however, tending to place counter-pressure on Congress to maintain the Act.
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Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Date: February 14, 2006
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: The U.S. merchandise trade deficit is a part of the overall U.S. balance of payments, a summary statement of all economic transactions between the residents of the United States and the rest of the world, during a given period of time. Some Members of Congress and other observers have grown concerned over the magnitude of the growing U.S. merchandise trade deficit and the associated increase in U.S. dollar-denominated assets owned by foreigners. 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.
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Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities

Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities

Date: April 24, 2006
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: Foreign capital inflows are playing an important role in the U.S. economy by bridging the gap between domestic supplies of and demand for capital. Foreign investors now hold more than 55% of the publicly-held and -traded U.S. Treasury securities. This report relies on a comprehensive set of data on capital flows, represented by purchases and sales of U.S. government securities and U.S. and foreign corporate stocks, bonds, into and out of the United States, that is reported by the Treasury Department on a monthly basis.
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The U.S. Financial Crisis: The Global Dimension with Implications for U.S. Policy

The U.S. Financial Crisis: The Global Dimension with Implications for U.S. Policy

Date: November 18, 2008
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.; Weiss, Martin A.; Jackson, James K.; Dolven, Ben; Morrison, Wayne M.; Cooper, William H. et al.
Description: 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.
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Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP): In Brief

Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP): In Brief

Date: December 16, 2013
Creator: Kirk, Robert S.
Description: This report discusses the major characteristics of the federal highway program that have been constant since the early 1920s. Generally, federal money can be spent only on designated federal-aid highways, which make up roughly a quarter of U.S. public roads.
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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 7, 2014
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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.
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Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Date: December 20, 2013
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: 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.
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Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns

Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns

Date: December 9, 2013
Creator: Garrett, R. S.
Description: This report discusses the Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration.
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Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status

Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status

Date: January 15, 2014
Creator: Webel, Baird
Description: This report provides a brief outline of the programs created under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), 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.
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Social Security Reform: Current Issues and Legislation

Social Security Reform: Current Issues and Legislation

Date: January 15, 2014
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: This report discusses The Social Security reform, which is an issue of interest to policy makers that arises in various contexts, from improving retirement security to reducing federal budget deficits. The report looks at the Social Security debate, Social Security future projections, and public opinion on Social Security reform. It also looks at past reform measures, from the 109th-112th Congress, none of which received congressional action.
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Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Date: March 24, 2014
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: 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.
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Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Date: April 9, 2014
Creator: Meyerson, Noah P.
Description: This report discusses the Social Security system that provides monthly benefits to qualified retirees, disabled workers, and their spouses and dependents.
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Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding

Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding

Date: March 20, 2014
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay & Lowry, Sean
Description: This report provides an overview of the Small Business Administration (SBA) business loan guaranty programs.
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The Volcker Rule: A Legal Analysis

The Volcker Rule: A Legal Analysis

Date: March 27, 2014
Creator: Carpenter, David H. & Murphy, M. Maureen
Description: 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).
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Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities

Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities

Date: March 5, 2014
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: 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.
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The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI): Budget Authority and Request, FY2010-FY2015

The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI): Budget Authority and Request, FY2010-FY2015

Date: April 30, 2014
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K.
Description: 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.
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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: July 10, 2014
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
Description: 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.
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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: June 1, 2014
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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.
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Foreign Holdings of Federal Debt

Foreign Holdings of Federal Debt

Date: June 16, 2014
Creator: Labonte, Marc & Nagel, Jared C.
Description: 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.
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Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns

Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns

Date: January 8, 2014
Creator: Garrett, R. S.
Description: This report discusses Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns

Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns

Date: May 10, 2013
Creator: Garrett, R. S.
Description: This report discusses Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
An Analysis of the Geographic Distribution of the Mortgage Interest Deduction

An Analysis of the Geographic Distribution of the Mortgage Interest Deduction

Date: January 30, 2014
Creator: Keightley, Mark P.
Description: This report analyzes variation in the mortgage interest deduction tax expenditure across states. Tax expenditures, such as the mortgage interest deduction, can generally be viewed as government spending administered via the tax code, or as tax incentives that are intended to achieve particular policy objectives. Regardless of the interpretation, tax expenditures provide a benefit to qualifying taxpayers by lowering their federal tax liabilities.
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The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

Date: June 30, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Description: This report briefly discusses the permissible proprietary trading activities of commercial banks and their subsidiaries under current law. It then analyzes the Volcker Rule proposals under the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills and under the Conference Report, which would limit the ability of commercial banking institutions and their affiliated companies and subsidiaries to engage in trading unrelated to customer needs and investing in and sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds.
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