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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY1998-2009
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress appropriated during the past 11 years for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs). It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations. It will be updated periodically. Three companion reports provide further information on the MDBs. See CRS Report RS20793, Multilateral Development Banks: Basic Background, CRS Report RS20791, Multilateral Development Banks: Procedures for U.S. Participation, and CRS Report RS22134 International Financial Institutions: Funding U.S. Participation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10562/
China's Currency Devaluation
This report discusses China's recent changes to its method for determining the value of its currency (the renminbi). On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the People's Bank of China (PBC), China's central bank, surprised global financial markets by lowering the reference rate of the renminbi, effectively depreciating the currency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743421/
Glass-Steagall Act: Commercial vs. Investment Banking
This report discusses debate over reform of the Nation's financial structure in the 100th Congress includes re-examination of "the separation of banking and commerce." This separation was mandated by the Glass-Steagall Act (part of the Banking Act of 1933); and was carried forward into the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended in 1970 and thereafter. The resulting isolation of banking from securities was designed to (1) maintain the integrity of the banking system; (2) prevent self-dealing and other financial abuses; and (3) limit stock market speculation. By half a century later, the "wall" it created seemed to be crumbling, as bankers created new financial products resembling securities, and securities firms innovated new financial products resembling loans and deposits. The ongoing process of "financial deregulation" has evoked calls for Congress to give depository institutions new powers, especially in the securities field. Financial deregulation in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan has put additional pressure on Congress to re-examine this Act. Concerns over a seemingly fragile system of depository institutions persist, however, tending to place counter-pressure on Congress to maintain the Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9065/
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
The U.S. merchandise trade deficit is a part of the overall U.S. balance of payments, a summary statement of all economic transactions between the residents of the United States and the rest of the world, during a given period of time. Some Members of Congress and other observers have grown concerned over the magnitude of the growing U.S. merchandise trade deficit and the associated increase in U.S. dollar-denominated assets owned by foreigners. 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/metacrs9158/
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. Foreign investors now hold more than 55% of the publicly-held and -traded U.S. Treasury 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/metacrs9160/
The U.S. Financial Crisis: The Global Dimension with Implications for U.S. Policy
This report examines the global ramifications of the financial crisis, which exposed fundamental weaknesses in financial systems worldwide, and despite coordinated easing of monetary policy by governments and trillions of dollars in intervention by governments and the International Monetary Fund, the crisis continues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795679/
Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP): In Brief
This report discusses the major characteristics of the federal highway program that have been constant since the early 1920s. Generally, federal money can be spent only on designated federal-aid highways, which make up roughly a quarter of U.S. public roads. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272036/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272078/
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/metadc272094/
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
This report discusses the Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272015/
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status
This report provides a brief outline of the programs created under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276901/
Social Security Reform: Current Issues and Legislation
This report discusses The Social Security reform, which is an issue of interest to policy makers that arises in various contexts, from improving retirement security to reducing federal budget deficits. The report looks at the Social Security debate, Social Security future projections, and public opinion on Social Security reform. It also looks at past reform measures, from the 109th-112th Congress, none of which received congressional action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276922/
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/metadc284475/
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits
This report discusses the Social Security system that provides monthly benefits to qualified retirees, disabled workers, and their spouses and dependents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287901/
Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding
This report provides an overview of the Small Business Administration (SBA) business loan guaranty programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284448/
The Volcker Rule: A Legal Analysis
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284450/
Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284489/
The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI): Budget Authority and Request, FY2010-FY2015
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306547/
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332894/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332938/
Foreign Holdings of Federal Debt
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332921/
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/
"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/
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/
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits
This report discusses the calculations that go into taxing Social Security benefits, which prior to 1984 were exempt from taxation but have since been taxed at gradually increasing levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463427/
Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues
This report addresses selected legal issues which may be raised regarding entitlement to Social Security benefits as Congress considers possible changes to the Social Security program, and in view of projected long-range shortfalls in the Social Security Trust Funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463036/
Tolling of Interstate Highways: Issues in Brief
In recent years, the revenues flowing into the highway trust fund have been insufficient to maintain even current levels of federal funding for highways. Political resistance to raising the federal fuels tax is high. This report discusses arguments for and against expanding tolling of the Interstate highways as a means of generating needed funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463040/
Ebbs and Flows of Federal Debt
This report will define the measures of debt, discuss the mechanisms of how debt levels change, and use historical examples to illustrate the factors causing debt movements over the last seven decades. In addition, some policies which may affect the future budgetary outlook and the debt will be discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462087/
Iraq's Debt Relief: Procedure and Potential Implications for International Debt Relief
This report discusses the Iraqi debt problem in three parts: [1] overview of the Iraq debt situation following the ouster of the Saddam regime; [2] subsequent debt relief negotiations and their resolution; [3] possible implications for future debt relief cases that arise from Iraq's experience. The implications are: a willingness by the international community to grant a stay on the enforcement of creditor rights; an increased flexibility in Paris Club debt relief decisions; and an unwillingness by successor regimes to claim that their debt is odious and repudiate it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462036/
Securities Fraud Class Action Certification: Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.
This report discusses requirements for securities fraud class action certification. The report also specifically examines each of the decisions made in the Halliburton cases, which proceeded through two complete rounds in federal district court, court of appeals, and the Supreme Court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462069/
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/metadc462229/
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/metadc462260/
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/