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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
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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.
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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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Tax Credit Bonds: Overview and Analysis

Tax Credit Bonds: Overview and Analysis

Date: July 29, 2010
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Description: 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.
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Coordinated Party Expenditures in Federal Elections: An Overview

Coordinated Party Expenditures in Federal Elections: An Overview

Date: May 15, 2014
Creator: Garrett, R. S.
Description: This report examines campaign finance law in the context of political party committee expenditures. It discusses relevant Supreme Court precedent and recent legislative activity.
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Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of U.S. Financial Supervision

Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of U.S. Financial Supervision

Date: December 8, 2010
Creator: Jickling, Mark & Murphy, Edward V.
Description: 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.
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The European Union's Response to the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis

The European Union's Response to the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis

Date: August 13, 2010
Creator: Eubanks, Walter W.
Description: 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.
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"Living Wills": The Legal Regime for Constructing Resolution Plans for Certain Financial Institutions

"Living Wills": The Legal Regime for Constructing Resolution Plans for Certain Financial Institutions

Date: December 4, 2014
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Description: 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 ...
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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 22, 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 both the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Financial Turmoil: Federal Reserve Policy Responses

Financial Turmoil: Federal Reserve Policy Responses

Date: July 15, 2010
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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.
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Financial Regulatory Reform: Systemic Risk and the Federal Reserve

Financial Regulatory Reform: Systemic Risk and the Federal Reserve

Date: May 26, 2010
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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.
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Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Date: June 22, 2010
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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Legislative Options After Citizens United v. FEC: Constitutional and Legal Issues

Legislative Options After Citizens United v. FEC: Constitutional and Legal Issues

Date: July 27, 2010
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige; Lunder, Erika K.; Manuel, Kate M.; Maskell, Jack & Seitzinger, Michael V.
Description: 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.
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Financial Regulatory Reform and the 111th Congress

Financial Regulatory Reform and the 111th Congress

Date: June 1, 2010
Creator: Webel, Baird; Carpenter, David H.; Labonte, Marc; Miller, Rena S.; Murphy, Edward V. & Shorter, Gary
Description: 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.
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Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities

Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities

Date: June 22, 2010
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. 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.
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The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Title X, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Title X, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Date: July 21, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Description: 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.
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The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Executive Compensation

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Executive Compensation

Date: July 21, 2010
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V.
Description: 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.
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