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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Causes of the Financial Crisis

Causes of the Financial Crisis

Date: April 9, 2010
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: The financial crisis that began in 2007 spread and gathered intensity in 2008, despite the efforts of central banks and regulators to restore calm. By early 2009, the financial system and the global economy appeared to be locked in a descending spiral, and the primary focus of policy became the prevention of a prolonged downturn on the order of the Great Depression. This report sets out in tabular form a number of the factors that have been identified as causes of the crisis. The left column of Table 1 below summarizes the causal role of each such factor. The next column presents a brief rejoinder to that argument. The right-hand column contains a reference for further reading.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress

Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: April 9, 2010
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: This report provides an overview of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and highlights major current issues for Congress. The first section discusses the history of the MDBs, their operations, major donor contributions, their organization, and debates about the effectiveness of MDB financial assistance. The second section discusses issues of particular interest to Congress, including congressional legislation authorizing and appropriating U.S. contributions to the MDBs, congressional oversight of the MDBs, and U.S. commercial interests in the MDBs. It also discusses recent proposals for increasing the voting power of emerging-markets at the World Bank.
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Federal Financial Services Regulatory Consolidation: Structural Response to the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis

Federal Financial Services Regulatory Consolidation: Structural Response to the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis

Date: April 12, 2010
Creator: Eubanks, Walter W.
Description: This report provides a brief history and overview of the U.S. federal financial services regulatory structure and examines the regulatory structural changes the three major federal government proposals would make to remedy the causes of the financial crisis. It concludes with a discussion of some possible implications of reform.
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Interest Payments on the Federal Debt: A Primer

Interest Payments on the Federal Debt: A Primer

Date: April 15, 2010
Creator: Hungerford, Thomas L.
Description: This report provides a brief overview of the federal debt and net interest payments. Of the three broad categories of federal spending, the only category that cannot be reduced by legislative action is net interest payments. The report provides information about federal debt, interest payments on the federal dept, and determinants of net interest payments.
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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: April 21, 2010
Creator: Jickling, Mark & Murphy, Edward V.
Description: This report provides an overview of current U.S. financial regulation. It discusses which agencies are responsible for which institutions and markets, and what kinds of authority they have.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues

NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues

Date: April 22, 2010
Creator: Ek, Carl
Description: Member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) contribute to the activities of the alliance in several ways, the chief of which is through the deployment of their own armed forces, funded by their national budgets. Certain commonly conducted activities, however, are paid for out of three NATO-run budgets. These three accounts--the civil budget, the military budget, and the security investment program--are funded by individual contributions from the member states. This report discusses North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) burdensharing in funding such operations.
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Greece's Debt Crisis: Overview, Policy Responses, and Implications

Greece's Debt Crisis: Overview, Policy Responses, and Implications

Date: April 27, 2010
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.; Belkin, Paul & Mix, Derek E.
Description: This report provides an overview of the Greek debt crisis; outlines the major causes of the crisis, focusing on both domestic and international factors; examines how Greece, the Eurozone members, and the IMF have responded to the crisis; and highlights the broader implications of Greece's debt crisis, including for the United States.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: April 28, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A. & Chite, Ralph M.
Description: This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current 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.
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Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"

Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"

Date: April 28, 2010
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Description: This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's.
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Structure and Functions of the Federal Reserve System

Structure and Functions of the Federal Reserve System

Date: May 4, 2010
Creator: Smale, Pauline
Description: This report examines the structure and operations of the major components of the Federal Reserve System and provides an overview of congressional oversight activities. In addition, the report discusses the provisions of one of the pending pieces of legislation (S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010) that would affect the structure and operations of the System.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department