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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

Date: June 24, 2002
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: The Social Security "full retirement age" will gradually rise from 65 to 67 beginning with people who attain age 62 in 2000 (i.e., those born in 1938). Early retirement benefits will still be available beginning at age 62, but at lower levels. To help solve Social Security's long-range financing problems, it has been proposed that these ages be raised further.
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Hedge Funds: Should They Be Regulated?

Hedge Funds: Should They Be Regulated?

Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: Hedge funds are essentially unregulated mutual funds. They are pools of invested money that buy and sell stocks and bonds and many other assets, including foreign currencies, precious metals, commodities, and derivatives. Hedge funds are structured to avoid Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation. In view of the growing impact of hedge funds on a variety of financial markets, the SEC in October 2004 adopted a regulation that required hedge funds to register as investment advisers, disclose basic information about their operations, and open their books for inspection. This report discusses various legislation before the 111th Congress that would impose various types and amounts of SEC regulation upon hedge funds.
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Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress

Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: November 8, 2013
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: This report provides an overview of Multilateral Development Banks (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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Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit: Role of Foreign Governments

Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit: Role of Foreign Governments

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: The nation's trade deficit is equal to the imbalance between national investment and national saving. The financial turmoil and economic contraction during 2008 reduced the gap between national saving and investment. The result was a decline in the trade deficit and the net inflow of capital. If total net capital inflows decline, mainstream economics suggests, all else held constant, that the dollar and trade deficit would decline, U.S. interest rates would rise, and U.S. spending on capital goods and consumer durables would fall, all else equal.
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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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Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status

Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status

Date: March 4, 2011
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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Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2011

Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2011

Date: March 11, 2011
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration has requested and how much Congress has 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.
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Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding

Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Spar, Karen
Description: This report looks at the purpose and background of Community Services Block Grants (CSBG), which provide federal funds to states, territories, and tribes for distribution to local agencies to support a wide range of community-based activities to reduce poverty. CSBG was last reauthorized in 1998, although and related programs have been funded by Congressional approval since then.
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Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress

Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: May 26, 2011
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: Sovereign debt, also called public debt or government debt, refers to debt incurred by governments. Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, public debt in advanced economies has increased substantially. A number of factors related to the financial crisis have fueled the increase, including fiscal stimulus packages, the nationalization of private-sector debt, and lower tax revenue. Even if economic growth reverses some of these trends, such as by boosting tax receipts and reducing spending on government programs, aging populations in advanced economies are expected to strain government debt levels in coming years.
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