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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Foreign Direct Investment: Current Issues
This report presents an overview of current issues related to foreign direct investment in the economy and the development of U.S. policy toward inward and outward direct investment. This report also assesses the role of foreign direct investment in the economy and the costs and benefits of direct investment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463436/
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/
"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/
International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 113th Congress, Second Session
This report highlights major international trade and finance issues that the 113th Congress may address. This report presents broader congressional oversight of the economic and political context of the current U.S. participation in the global economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462361/
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/
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/
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/
An Overview of the Housing Finance System in the United States
This report provides an overview of how the housing finance system works and provides context for housing finance-related policy issues that Congress might choose to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462704/
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/
The OECD Initiative on Tax Havens
This report examines the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its role in changes to U.S. laws related to bribery, tax havens. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462457/
Foreign Investment in U.S. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463368/
The STOCK Act, Insider Trading, and Public Financial Reporting by Federal Officials
This report gives an overview of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK), which affirms and makes explicit the fact that there is no exemption from the "insider trading" laws and regulations for Members of Congress, congressional employees, or any federal officials. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462904/
Foreign Ownership of U.S. Financial Assets: Implications of a Withdrawal
This report provides an overview of the role foreign investment plays in the U.S. economy and an assessment of possible actions a foreign investor or a group of foreign investors might choose to take to liquidate their investments in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463281/
The OECD Initiative on Tax Havens
This report examines the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its role in changes to U.S. laws related to bribery, tax havens. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462803/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report provides an overview of the Federal Reserve and issues for Congress. The Federal Reserve (the Fed) defines monetary policy as the actions it undertakes to influence the availability and cost of money and credit. Because the expectations of market participants play an important role in determining prices and growth, monetary policy can also be defined to include the directives, policies, statements, and actions of the Fed that influence how the future is perceived. In addition, the Fed acts as a "lender of last resort" to the nation's financial system, meaning that it ensures continued smooth functioning of financial intermediation by providing financial markets with adequate liquidity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462847/
U.S. International Investment Agreements: Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of U.S. international investment agreements, focusing specifically on bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and investment chapters in free trade agreements (FTAs). It discusses key trends in U.S. and international investment flows, governance structures for investment at the bilateral and multilateral levels, the goals and basic components of investment provisions in U.S. international investment agreements, the outcomes of the Administration's Model BIT review, and key policy issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462463/
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
This report discusses Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463489/
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
This report discusses Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463132/
An Analysis of the Geographic Distribution of the Mortgage Interest Deduction
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463404/
The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491215/
Tax Credit Bonds: Overview and Analysis
Almost all state and local governments sell bonds to finance public projects and certain qualified private activities. Most of the bonds issued are tax-exempt bonds because the interest payments are not included in the bondholder's (purchaser's) federal taxable income. In contrast, Tax Credit Bonds (TCBs) are a type of bond that offers the holder a federal tax credit instead of interest. This report explains the tax credit mechanism and describes the market for the bonds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491320/
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/
Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of U.S. Financial Supervision
This report provides an overview of current U.S. financial regulation: which agencies are responsible for which institutions, activities, and markets, and what kinds of authority they have. Some agencies regulate particular types of institutions for risky behavior or conflicts of interest, some agencies promulgate rules for certain financial transactions no matter what kind of institution engages in it, and other agencies enforce existing rules for some institutions, but not for others. These regulatory activities are not necessarily mutually exclusive. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491273/
The European Union's Response to the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis
This report examines the EU responses to the financial crisis through changes to the financial regulatory structure at the EU level as well as the member country level. The countries examined are Germany and the United Kingdom, which have single financial regulators; the Netherlands, which has a twin peaks regulatory structure; and Spain, which has a functional structure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491275/
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Title X, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
This report provides a legal overview of the regulatory structure of consumer finance under existing federal law, which is followed by an analysis of how the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 will change this legal structure, with a focus on the Bureau's organization and funding; the entities and activities that fall (and do not fall) under the Bureau's supervisory, enforcement, and rulemaking authority; the Bureau's general and specific rulemaking powers and procedures; and an analysis of the act's preemption standards over state consumer protection laws as they apply to national banks and thrifts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490865/
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Executive Compensation
This report discusses the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173), which was implemented as part of financial regulatory reform initiatives undertaken by Congress in light of the recent global economic crisis. The legislation focuses on executive compensation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490937/
"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/
The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks
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 both the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491207/
Financial Turmoil: Federal Reserve Policy Responses
The Federal Reserve (Fed) has been central in the policy response to the financial turmoil that began in August 2007. It has sharply increased reserves to the banking system through open market operations and lowered the federal funds rate and discount rate on several occasions. This report reviews the Fed's actions since August 2007 and analyzes the policy issues raised by those actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491458/
Financial Regulatory Reform: Systemic Risk and the Federal Reserve
This report defines the potential duties and responsibilities of a systemic risk regulator, relating those duties to events that potentially contributed to the recent crisis. It then identifies the powers that would need to be given to a regulator to perform those duties, and compares those powers and responsibilities to the Fed's existing powers and responsibilities. It discusses advantages and disadvantages of giving those responsibilities to the Fed or the executive branch. It also includes a brief overview of major elements of the Administration's proposal, H.R. 4173, which passed the House on December 11, 2009, and S. 3217, which passed the Senate on May 20, 2010,2 that involve the Fed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491469/
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/metadc491116/
Legislative Options After Citizens United v. FEC: Constitutional and Legal Issues
In Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court invalidated two provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), finding that they were unconstitutional under the First Amendment. In response to the Supreme Court's ruling, various proposals have been discussed and legislation has been introduced in the 111th Congress. This report provides an analysis of the constitutional and legal issues raised by several proposals, organized by regulatory topic: increasing disclaimer requirements, increasing disclosure for tax-exempt organizations, requiring shareholder notification and approval, restricting U.S. subsidiaries of foreign corporations, restricting political expenditures by government contractors and grantees, taxing corporate independent expenditures, and providing public financing for congressional campaigns. The report also addresses amending the Constitution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491138/
Financial Regulatory Reform and the 111th Congress
This report reviews issues related to financial regulation. It provides brief descriptions of the two main comprehensive reform bills in the 111th Congress that address these issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491630/
Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities
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. This report analyzes the extent of foreign portfolio investment in the U.S. economy and assesses the economic conditions that are attracting such investment and the impact such investments are having on the economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491530/
North Korean Counterfeiting of U.S. Currency
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10856/
China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues
Many Members of Congress charge that China's policy of accumulating foreign reserves (especially U.S. dollars) to influence the value of its currency constitutes a form of currency manipulation intended to make its exports cheaper and imports into China more expensive than they would be under free market conditions. Although China made modest reforms to its currency policy in 2005, Members contend the forms have not gone far enough and have warned of potential legislative action. This report summarizes the main findings CRS Report RL32165, China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10596/
China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues
Many Members of Congress charge that China's policy of accumulating foreign reserves (especially U.S. dollars) to influence the value of its currency constitutes a form of currency manipulation intended to make its exports cheaper and imports into China more expensive than they would be under free market conditions. Although China made modest reforms to its currency policy in 2005, Members contend the forms have not gone far enough and have warned of potential legislative action. This report summarizes the main findings CRS Report RL32165, China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10597/
China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues
This report explores various aspects of the Chinese economy, including specific policies that some Members of Congress consider a form of currency manipulation, the U.S.-China economic relationship, and the state of the Chinese economy with respect to the current global economic crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26318/
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress' oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272100/
International Climate Change Financing: Needs, Sources, and Delivery Methods
This report discusses the domestic and international efforts to increase foreign assistance to address climate change. Proponents maintain that such assistance could help promote low-emissions and high-growth economic development in lower-income countries, while simultaneously protecting the more vulnerable countries from the effects of a changing climate. The fundamental dispute concerning international financing for climate change centers upon who should pay for it and how. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40169/
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29731/
Foreign Investment and National Security: Economic Considerations
This report assesses recent international developments as the leaders from a number of nations work to reach a consensus on an informal set of best practices regarding national restrictions on foreign investment for national security purposes. This report also provides one possible approach for assessing the costs and benefits involved in using national policies to direct or to restrict foreign direct investment for national security reasons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33071/
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress' oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272099/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
This report covers the recent background of the Exon-Florio provision with special regards to issues faced in the 112th Congress. The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of “persons engaged in interstate commerce in the United States” that threaten to impair the national security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99092/
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report covers the background and recent history on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). This committee has recently emerged from obscurity due to concerns involving foreign investments in U.S. companies and national security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99094/
Foreign Investment, CFIUS, and Homeland Security: An Overview
This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress’s oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99132/
Financial Market Intervention
Financial markets continue to experience significant disturbance and the banking sector remains fragile. Efforts to restore confidence have been met with mixed success thus far. After attempting to deal with troubled institutions on a case-by-case basis, Treasury has proposed a plan to purchase mortgage-related assets to alleviate stress in financial markets and in the banking system. This report provides answers to some frequently asked questions concerning the financial disruptions of September 2008 and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in H.R. 3997. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10801/
527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change
Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10190/
527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change
Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10189/
Environmental, Health, and Safety Tradeoffs: A Discussion of Policymaking Opportunities and Constraints
This report discusses the implications of cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment in the context of congressional and administrative decision-making structures. It identifies constraints on flexible decision-making and some implications of trying to overcome them. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1018/