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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the Export-Import Bank (Ex-In Bank), the chief U.S. government agency that helps finance American exports of manufactured goods and services with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers. This report discusses the Bank's budget and related legislation, including the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, signed by President Barack Obama and authorizing spending limitations for the Bank. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29544/
Conflicts of Interest in Derivatives Clearing
This report examines how conflicts of interest may arise regarding derivatives clearing and analyzes the measures that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed to address them. It discusses what effect, if any, ownership and control limits may have on derivatives clearing; and whether such limits effectively address the types of conflicts of interest that are of concern to some in the 112th Congress. These rulemakings may interest the 112th Congress as part of its oversight authority for the CFTC and SEC. Trends in clearing and trading derivatives, and the ownership of swap clearinghouses, are discussed in the Appendix. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99030/
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/metadc99020/
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85401/
Annuities and the Securities and Exchange Commission Proposed Rule 151A
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released a proposed rule that would effectively reclassify equity indexed annuities as a security product in addition to being an insurance product. This report presents the different types of annuities, explains the taxation of annuities, and disentangles the federal and state roles in the regulation of annuities. It outlines the proposed SEC rule and its current status. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10810/
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues
Report that provides a brief overview of how foreign investments can affect the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228106/
Global Financial Turmoil, the IMF, and the New Financial Architecture
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1714/
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the Export-Import Bank (Ex-In Bank), the chief U.S. government agency that helps finance American exports of manufactured goods and services with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers. This report discusses the Bank's budget and related legislation, including the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, signed by President Barack Obama and authorizing spending limitations for the Bank. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1995/
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the Export-Import Bank (Ex-In Bank), the chief U.S. government agency that helps finance American exports of manufactured goods and services with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1994/
H.R. 2415: Bankruptcy Reform in the Closing Days of the 106th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1718/
Global Financial Turmoil, the IMF, and the New Financial Architecture
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1221/
Brazil's Economic Reform and the Global Financial Crisis
Despite backing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), capital flight from Brazil in 1998 prompted the government to jettison its pegged currency stabilization program and float the real on January 15, 1999, becoming another casualty of the volatile international capital markets. Brazil adjusted to its financial crisis faster than expected, which is considered over. This report provides a final summary of Brazil's financial crisis and related IMF assistance in support of Congressional interest in various aspects of the 1990s global financial turmoil. It will not be updated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1220/
Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns
The international market for Islamic finance has grown between 10% to 15% annually in recent years. Islamic finance historically has been concentrated in the Persian Gulf countries, but has expanded globally to both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. There is a small but growing market for Islamic finance in the United States. Through international and domestic regulatory bodies, there has been effort to standardize regulations in Islamic finance across different countries and financial institutions, although challenges remain. Critics of Islamic finance express concerns about possible ties between Islamic finance and political agendas or terrorist financing and the use of Islamic finance to circumvent U.S. economic sanctions. Proponents argue that Islamic finance presents significant new business opportunities and provides alternate methods for capital formation and economic development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10779/
Saving Rates: An International Comparison
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An Economic Analysis and Brief Legislative Overview of Usury Ceilings
This report gives an economic analysis of usury ceilings, laws which set the maximum legal rate of interest to be charged on particular types of loans. It provides a brief overview of recent Federal l e g i s l a t i o n dealing with usury, with special emphasis on the Federal authorities mandated by P.L. 96-221, and the effectiveness of Federal preemption of State usury laws. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8157/
Managing Farm Risk in a New Policy Era
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Common Legal Questions and Answers Concerning Currency, Legal Tender and Money
This report answers common legal questions relating to currency, legal tender, and money. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9034/
Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues
The federal government has a long history of providing credit assistance to farmers by issuing direct loans and guarantees, and creating rural lending institutions. These institutions include the Farm Credit System (FCS), which is a network of borrower-owned lending institutions operating as a government-sponsored enterprise, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which makes or guarantees loans to farmers who cannot qualify at other lenders. When loans cannot be repaid, special bankruptcy provisions help family farmers reorganize debts and continue farming (P.L. 109-8 made Chapter 12 permanent and expanded eligibility). S. 238 and H.R. 399 (the Rural Economic Investment Act) would exempt commercial banks from paying taxes on profits from farm real estate loans, thus providing similar benefits as to the Farm Credit System. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9098/
Mixing Banking and Commerce Using Federal Deposit Insurance: Industrial Banks and Nonbank Banks
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Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the Export-Import Bank (Ex-In Bank), the chief U.S. government agency that helps finance American exports of manufactured goods and services with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5547/
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the Export-Import Bank (Ex-In Bank), the chief U.S. government agency that helps finance American exports of manufactured goods and services with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5548/
Bankruptcy Reform in the 108th Congress
On March 19, 2003, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 975, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2003. H.R. 975, as introduced, was substantially similar to the legislation (H.R. 333) approved by both the House and the Senate during the 107th Congress, but omitted the Schumer Amendment which would have prevented the discharge of liability for willful violation of protective orders and violent protests against providers of “lawful services,” including reproductive health services. As passed by the House, H.R. 975 was amended to add sections to, among other things, increase the cap on wage and employee benefit claims. The Senate did not consider H.R. 975 during the first session of the 108th Congress. This report provides an overview of selected major provisions of the legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5902/
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9018/
Bankruptcy Reform Legislation in the 107th Congress: A Comparison of H.R. 333 As Passed by the House and the Senate
H.R. 333, 107th Congress, 1st Sess. (2001), the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2001” and its counterpart in the Senate, S. 220, 107th Congress, 1st Sess. (2001), the “Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2001” were introduced on January 31, 2001. So far, the 107th Congress has demonstrated widespread support for the bills evidenced by the votes. Although President Bush is expected to sign bankruptcy reform into law, the White House has indicated that a bankruptcy bill that contains a federal homestead cap may be unacceptable. This report surveys the bills and the major amendments that have been adopted. It provides a sectional analysis comparing selected provisions, with an emphasis on consumer bankruptcy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2815/
Mergers and Consolidation Between Banking and Financial Services Firms: Trends and Prospects
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Mergers and Consolidation Between Banking and Financial Services Firms: Trends and Prospects
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2811/
Multiple-Group Federal Credit Unions: An Update
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The Argentine Financial Crisis: A Chronology of Events
Argentina’s current crisis resulted from a confluence of events, some external to Argentina’s policy process, others directly related to its political and economic choices. The following is a summary of these events from before Argentina’s adoption of the currency board in 1991 to developments in early 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2835/
Auditing and Its Regulators: Reforms After Enron
Auditors are regulated by both governmental agencies and professional organizations, though many now question whether this oversight is adequate. Enron’s auditor, Arthur Andersen, has been investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), several congressional committees, and other agencies, and it is facing numerous law suits. A federal jury convicted the firm on obstruction of justice charges on June 15, 2002. Other corporations and their auditors are also under scrutiny. Numerous accounting and audit reforms have been proposed, including some by the accounting industry. The House passed an audit reform bill (H.R. 3763) on April 24, 2002. The Senate passed an amended version of its bill (S. 2673) on July 15th. The SEC published proposed reform rules June 26th; on the 28th it required top executives in companies with revenues exceeding $1.2 billion to personally certify that filed reports are complete and accurate digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2832/
Auditing and Its Regulators: Proposals for Reform After Enron
Auditors are regulated by both governmental agencies and professional organizations, though many now question whether this oversight is adequate. Enron’s auditor, Arthur Andersen, has been investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), several congressional committees, and other agencies, and it is facing numerous law suits. A federal jury convicted the firm on obstruction of justice charges on June 15, 2002. Other corporations and their auditors are also under scrutiny. Numerous accounting and audit reforms have been proposed, including some by the accounting industry. The House passed an audit reform bill (H.R. 3763) on April 24, 2002. The Senate passed an amended version of its bill (S. 2673) on July 15th. The SEC published proposed reform rules June 26th; on the 28th it required top executives in companies with revenues exceeding $1.2 billion to personally certify that filed reports are complete and accurate digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2831/
The Enron Collapse: An Overview of Financial Issues
This report briefly examines the accounting system that failed to provide a clear picture of the firm’s true condition, the independent auditors and board members who were unwilling to challenge Enron’s management, the Wall Street stock analysts and bond raters who missed the trouble ahead, the rules governing employer stock in company pension plans, and the unregulated energy derivatives trading that was the core of Enron’s business. The report also describes related legislation that has received floor or committee action and will be updated regularly. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2837/
Auditing and Its Regulators: Proposals for Reform After Enron
Auditors are regulated by both governmental agencies and professional organizations, though many now question whether this oversight is adequate. Enron’s auditor, Arthur Andersen, has been investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), several congressional committees, and other agencies, and it is facing numerous law suits. A federal jury convicted the firm on obstruction of justice charges on June 15, 2002. Other corporations and their auditors are also under scrutiny. Numerous accounting and audit reforms have been proposed, including some by the accounting industry. The House passed an audit reform bill (H.R. 3763) on April 24, 2002. The Senate passed an amended version of its bill (S. 2673) on July 15th. The SEC published proposed reform rules June 26th; on the 28th it required top executives in companies with revenues exceeding $1.2 billion to personally certify that filed reports are complete and accurate digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2830/
The Enron Collapse: An Overview of Financial Issues
This report briefly examines the accounting system that failed to provide a clear picture of the firm’s true condition, the independent auditors and board members who were unwilling to challenge Enron’s management, the Wall Street stock analysts and bond raters who missed the trouble ahead, the rules governing employer stock in company pension plans, and the unregulated energy derivatives trading that was the core of Enron’s business. The report also describes related legislation that has received floor or committee action and will be updated regularly. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2838/
Federal Securities Law: Insider Trading
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2834/
The Enron Collapse: An Overview of Financial Issues
This report briefly examines the accounting system that failed to provide a clear picture of the firm’s true condition, the independent auditors and board members who were unwilling to challenge Enron’s management, the Wall Street stock analysts and bond raters who missed the trouble ahead, the rules governing employer stock in company pension plans, and the unregulated energy derivatives trading that was the core of Enron’s business. The report also describes related legislation that has received floor or committee action and will be updated regularly. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2839/
The Enron Collapse: An Overview of Financial Issues
This report briefly examines the accounting system that failed to provide a clear picture of the firm’s true condition, the independent auditors and board members who were unwilling to challenge Enron’s management, the Wall Street stock analysts and bond raters who missed the trouble ahead, the rules governing employer stock in company pension plans, and the unregulated energy derivatives trading that was the core of Enron’s business. The report also describes related legislation that has received floor or committee action and will be updated regularly. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2836/
Auditing and Its Regulators: Reforms After Enron
Auditors are regulated by both governmental agencies and professional organizations, though many now question whether this oversight is adequate. Enron’s auditor, Arthur Andersen, has been investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), several congressional committees, and other agencies, and it is facing numerous law suits. A federal jury convicted the firm on obstruction of justice charges on June 15, 2002. Other corporations and their auditors are also under scrutiny. Numerous accounting and audit reforms have been proposed, including some by the accounting industry. The House passed an audit reform bill (H.R. 3763) on April 24, 2002. The Senate passed an amended version of its bill (S. 2673) on July 15th. The SEC published proposed reform rules June 26th; on the 28th it required top executives in companies with revenues exceeding $1.2 billion to personally certify that filed reports are complete and accurate digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2833/
The Enron Collapse: An Overview of Financial Issues
This report briefly examines the accounting system that failed to provide a clear picture of the firm’s true condition, the independent auditors and board members who were unwilling to challenge Enron’s management, the Wall Street stock analysts and bond raters who missed the trouble ahead, the rules governing employer stock in company pension plans, and the unregulated energy derivatives trading that was the core of Enron’s business. The report also describes related legislation that has received floor or committee action and will be updated regularly. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2840/
Auditor Oversight: Proposals for New Regulator
This report provides basic background information on current regulation of auditors and summarizes alternatives now under consideration. Reforms proposed by Congress and the executive branch focus on oversight of the independent auditor, whose responsibility (in the broadest sense) is to certify that a corporation’s accounting statements reflect its true financial condition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2843/
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6712/
Electronic Banking: The Check Truncation Issue
If all checks were replaced by electronic transactions, the exact cost savings would still be unknown, because estimates of the cost of using a check and the number of checks written each year remain in dispute. Consequently, estimates of cost savings range from $1.4 billion annually for truncation alone to $68 billion for replacing checks with electronic payments. A significant part of the savings comes from eliminating the handling, sorting, and physically transporting of checks to the paying bank. To clear checks electronically, banks must negotiate processing agreements thatmake it unnecessary to physically present the paper check. Since the benefits are not uniformly dispersed among the participants, banks have found it difficult to obtain these agreements, thus constraining the widespread adoption of electronic check clearing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4655/
Mergers and Consolidation Between Banking and Financial Services Firms: Trends and Prospects
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4652/
Mergers and Consolidation Between Banking and Financial Services Firms: Trends and Prospects
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4651/
Bankruptcy Reform in the 108th Congress
On February 27, 2003, House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner introduced H.R. 975, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2003. Subcommittee hearings were held on March 4, and the legislation was marked-up and ordered to be reported by the full committee on March 12. This report provides an overview of selected major provisions of the legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4657/
Bankruptcy Reform in the 108th Congress
On March 19, 2003, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 975, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2003. H.R. 975, as introduced, was substantially similar to the legislation (H.R. 333) approved by both the House and the Senate during the 107th Congress, but omitted the Schumer Amendment which would have prevented the discharge of liability for willful violation of protective orders and violent protests against providers of “lawful services,” including reproductive health services. As passed by the House, H.R. 975 was amended to add sections to, among other things, increase the cap on wage and employee benefit claims. The Senate did not consider H.R. 975 during the first session of the 108th Congress. This report provides an overview of selected major provisions of the legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4658/
Bankruptcy Reform in the 108th Congress
On March 19, 2003, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 975, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2003. H.R. 975, as introduced, was substantially similar to the legislation (H.R. 333) approved by both the House and the Senate during the 107th Congress, but omitted the Schumer Amendment which would have prevented the discharge of liability for willful violation of protective orders and violent protests against providers of “lawful services,” including reproductive health services. As passed by the House, H.R. 975 was amended to add sections to, among other things, increase the cap on wage and employee benefit claims. The Senate did not consider H.R. 975 during the first session of the 108th Congress. This report provides an overview of selected major provisions of the legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4659/
Electronic Banking: The Check Truncation Issue
If all checks were replaced by electronic transactions, the exact cost savings would still be unknown, because estimates of the cost of using a check and the number of checks written each year remain in dispute. Consequently, estimates of cost savings range from $1.4 billion annually for truncation alone to $68 billion for replacing checks with electronic payments. A significant part of the savings comes from eliminating the handling, sorting, and physically transporting of checks to the paying bank. To clear checks electronically, banks must negotiate processing agreements thatmake it unnecessary to physically present the paper check. Since the benefits are not uniformly dispersed among the participants, banks have found it difficult to obtain these agreements, thus constraining the widespread adoption of electronic check clearing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4656/
Electronic Banking: The Check Truncation Issue
If all checks were replaced by electronic transactions, the exact cost savings would still be unknown, because estimates of the cost of using a check and the number of checks written each year remain in dispute. Consequently, estimates of cost savings range from $1.4 billion annually for truncation alone to $68 billion for replacing checks with electronic payments. A significant part of the savings comes from eliminating the handling, sorting, and physically transporting of checks to the paying bank. To clear checks electronically, banks must negotiate processing agreements thatmake it unnecessary to physically present the paper check. Since the benefits are not uniformly dispersed among the participants, banks have found it difficult to obtain these agreements, thus constraining the widespread adoption of electronic check clearing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4653/
Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy
Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be interpreted to favor or disfavor certain candidates, while also serving to inform the public about a policy issue. However, unlike communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, the Supreme Court has ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and cannot be regulated in any manner. According to most lower court rulings, only speech containing express words of advocacy of election or defeat, also known as “express advocacy” or “magic words” can be regulated as election-related communications and therefore be subject to the requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Unlike express advocacy communications, therefore, issue ads may be paid for with funds unregulated by federal law, i.e., soft money digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9279/
Auditing and Its Regulators: Reforms After Enron
Auditors are regulated by both governmental agencies and professional organizations, though many now question whether this oversight is adequate. Enron’s auditor, Arthur Andersen, has been investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), several congressional committees, and other agencies, and it is facing numerous law suits. A federal jury convicted the firm on obstruction of justice charges on June 15, 2002. Other corporations and their auditors are also under scrutiny. Numerous accounting and audit reforms have been proposed, including some by the accounting industry. The House passed an audit reform bill (H.R. 3763) on April 24, 2002. The Senate passed an amended version of its bill (S. 2673) on July 15th. The SEC published proposed reform rules June 26th; on the 28th it required top executives in companies with revenues exceeding $1.2 billion to personally certify that filed reports are complete and accurate digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4672/