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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
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/
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/
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/
The Depreciating Dollar: Economic Effects and Policy Response
This report discusses the trend of depreciation of the dollar since 2002. This raises concern among some in Congress and the public that the dollar's decline is a symptom of broader economic problems, such as a weak economic recovery, rising public debt, and a diminished standing in the global economy. However, a falling currency is not always a problem, but possibly an element of economic adjustments that are, on balance, beneficial to the economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40236/
Managing Farm Risk in a New Policy Era
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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/
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/
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/
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/metacrs7064/
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/
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/
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues
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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/
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/
Industrial Loan Companies/Banks and the Separation of Banking and Commerce: Legislative and Regulatory Perspectives
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7894/
Corporate Accountability: Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002: (P.L. 107-204)
The Act establishes a new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board which is to be supervised by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Act restricts accounting firms from performing a number of other services for the companies which they audit. The Act also requires new disclosures for public companies and the officers and directors of those companies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7030/
The Financial Crisis in Argentina
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7071/
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/
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6712/
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/
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/
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/metacrs3514/
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/metacrs3513/
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/
Supervision of U.S. Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Systems: Designation of Financial Market Utilities (FMUs)
This report outlines the changes to the supervision of key market infrastructure that are embodied in the Dodd-Frank Act. It is intended to be used as a reference for those interested in the financial system's "plumbing," and how the associated systems are currently overseen and regulated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122203/
The United States as a Net Debtor Nation: Overview of the International Investment Position
This report looks at international investing patterns and impacts, and ends with considerations on this topic for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103183/
Regulation of Debit Interchange Fees
This report provides a description of the debit payments process and network pricing, as well as an overview of the effects of the Durbin Amendement implemented by the Federal Reserve which includes a cap on the interchange fee for large issuers. In particular, the Durbin Amendment is discussed in light of comments by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98011/
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/
Multiple-Group Federal Credit Unions: An Update
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs681/
Saving Rates: An International Comparison
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs114/
Mixing Banking and Commerce Using Federal Deposit Insurance: Industrial Banks and Nonbank Banks
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs58/
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/metacrs4655/
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/
Global Financial Turmoil, the IMF, and the New Financial Architecture
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1714/
Global Financial Turmoil, the IMF, and the New Financial Architecture
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1221/
H.R. 2415: Bankruptcy Reform in the Closing Days of the 106th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1718/
Mergers and Consolidation Between Banking and Financial Services Firms: Trends and Prospects
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2812/
Mergers and Consolidation Between Banking and Financial Services Firms: Trends and Prospects
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2811/
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/
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/metacrs4673/
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/
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/metacrs2838/
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/