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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response
The largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti devastated parts of the country, including the capital, on January 12, 2010. This report discusses the disaster and various responses, ranging from the Haitian government's initial response to foreign humanitarian and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501598/
Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response
The largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti devastated parts of the country, including the capital, on January 12, 2010. This report discusses the disaster and various responses, ranging from the Haitian government's initial response to foreign humanitarian and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501690/
Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response
The largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti devastated parts of the country, including the capital, on January 12, 2010. This report discusses the disaster and various responses, ranging from the Haitian government's initial response to foreign humanitarian and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501878/
Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response
The largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti devastated parts of the country, including the capital, on January 12, 2010. This report discusses the disaster and various responses, ranging from the Haitian government's initial response to foreign humanitarian and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501760/
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/metadc501737/
Government Assistance for GMAC/Ally Financial: Unwinding the Government Stake
This report discusses government support given to Ally Financial, formerly known as General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), which provides auto financing, insurance, online banking, and mortgage and commercial financing. This report looks at how -- or even if -- GMAC will be able to pay back the government for Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501973/
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/metadc503506/
Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503351/
The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications
This report provides a historical account and analysis of the crisis through September 25, 2009. While business contraction appears to have abated, unemployment is shown to be on the rise and many businesses and countries are still facing difficulties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503355/
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/metadc503688/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report provides an overview of monetary policy and recent developments. It discusses issues for Congress, including transparency and proposals to change the Fed's mandate, and ends with a brief overview of the Fed's regulatory responsibilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503675/
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. To finance federal borrowing, U.S. Treasury securities are sold to investors, directly from the Treasury or on the secondary market to individual private investors, financial institutions in the United States or overseas, and foreign, state, or local governments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503401/
Government Interventions in Response to Financial Turmoil
This report reviews new programs introduced and other actions taken by the Treasury, Federal Reserve, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in response to the recent financial crisis. It does not cover longstanding programs such as the Fed's discount window and FDIC receivership of failed banks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503291/
Increased Campaign Contribution Limits in the FY2015 Omnibus Appropriations Law: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides brief answers to frequently asked questions about increased campaign contribution limits in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 83; P.L. 113-235), enacted and signed into law in December 2014. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503282/
Designating Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs)
This report briefly 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/metadc505533/
Campaign Finance Policy After Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: Issues and Options for Congress
This report provides an overview of selected campaign finance policy options that may be relevant to the ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. It also briefly comments on how Citizens United might affect political advertising. A complete understanding of how Citizens United will affect the campaign and policy environments is likely to be unavailable until at least the conclusion of the 2010 election cycle. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505567/
The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications
This report provides a historical account and analysis of the crisis through January 2010. While business contraction appears to have abated, unemployment is shown to be on the rise and many businesses and countries are still facing difficulties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503628/
The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications
This report provides a historical account and analysis of the global economic crisis through April 2, 2009. While business contraction appears to have abated, unemployment is shown to be on the rise and many businesses and countries are still facing difficulties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503629/
The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications
This report provides a historical account and analysis of the crisis through August 17, 2009. While business contraction appears to have abated, unemployment is shown to be on the rise and many businesses and countries are still facing difficulties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503697/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report discusses two of the four major responsibilities of the Federal Reserve (Fed) as the nation's central bank: execution of monetary policy and ensuring financial stability through the lender of last resort function. This report provides an overview of these mandates and activities, recent developments, and the role of Congressional oversight. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503706/
The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications
This report provides a historical account and analysis of the crisis through February 13, 2009. While business contraction appears to have abated, unemployment is shown to be on the rise and many businesses and countries are still facing difficulties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503711/
Limiting Central Government Budget Deficits: International Experiences
This report focuses on how major developed and emerging-market country governments, particularly the G-20 and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, limit their fiscal deficits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503498/
The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications
This report provides a historical account and analysis of the crisis through November 14, 2009. While business contraction appears to have abated, unemployment is shown to be on the rise and many businesses and countries are still facing difficulties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503443/
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
Congress is faced with determining whether it wants public financing of presidential campaigns to continue and, if so, how. Proposals to curtail the presidential public financing program have been a consistent theme in recent Congresses. This report provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503306/
Financial Regulatory Reform: Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as Proposed by the Obama Administration and H.R. 3126
This report provides a brief summary of the Obama Administration's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (CFPA) and delineates some of the substantive differences between it and H.R. 3126, as ordered to be reported by the House Financial Services Committee, as well as the version that was ordered to be reported by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626997/
Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of U.S. Financial Supervision
Federal financial regulation in the United States has evolved through a series of piecemeal responses to developments and crises in financial markets. This report provides an overview of current U.S. financial regulation: which agencies are responsible for which institutions and markets, and what kinds of authority they have. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627211/
Current Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides information on current debates over exchange rates in the global economy. It offers an overview of how exchange rates work; analyzes specific disagreements and debates; and examines existing frameworks for potentially addressing currency disputes. It also lays out some policy options available to Congress, should Members want to take action on exchange rate issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627010/
The Impact of Medicare Premiums on Social Security Beneficiaries
This report shows how the deduction of Medicare Part B and Part D premiums affects Social Security beneficiaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627041/
Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response
This report discusses the Haiti earthquake disaster and various responses, ranging from the Haitian government's initial response to foreign humanitarian and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627059/
Uncertainty in Financial Projections of Social Security
The financial outlook for Social Security has been the subject of much analysis and debate. This report briefly discusses a report from the Social Security Board of Trustees which contains the federal government's official financial projections for the Social Security program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626889/
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options
This report gives an overview of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC)—enacted on a temporary basis by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and extended through the end of 2012 by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010— which is a partially-refundable tax credit that provides financial assistance to taxpayers who are attending college, or whose children are attending college. There are a variety of policy options mentioned in the report regarding the AOTC, including extending the credit, extending a modified AOTC, or repealing the Hope and Lifetime Credits and extending a modified AOTC that includes provisions included in these credits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87243/
Auditing and Accounting Regulation: Key SEC Powers
Key auditing and accounting reform legislation, S. 2673 (Sarbanes), and H.R. 3763 (Oxley), and proposals for auditor oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been launched to help restore public confidence in a system of corporate financial accounting tainted by accounting fiascos at companies like Enron, Tyco, and Worldcom. This report provides background on significant current SEC regulatory powers in the area of accounting and auditing. It will be updated if there are changes in SEC authority. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2846/
Bankruptcy and Business Failure Data
The purpose of this report is to provide statistical data on the actual number of businesses that are filing for bankruptcy or ceasing operations. Tabular data of both a historical and current nature concerning business failures and bankruptcies is provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9037/
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the 2000 Summit in Brunei
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1846/
Changing the Federal Reserve's Mandate: An Economic Analysis
This report discusses a number of implementation issues surrounding an inflation target. These include what rate of inflation to target, what inflation measure to use, whether to set a point target or range, and what penalties to impose if a target is missed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227711/
Chapter 12 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code: Reorganization of a Family Farmer or Fisherman
Chapter 12 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code dealing with “family farmer” reorganization, temporarily extended 11 times since its original enactment, is made permanent by enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, P.L. 109-8. It is amended to include “family fisherman” as well. This report surveys the highlights of this chapter digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9105/
Campaign Finance Reform: Regulating Political Communications on the Internet
In October 2002, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) promulgated regulations exempting from the definition of “public communication” those communications that are made over the Internet. In response to the FEC’s final rules, the two primary House sponsors of BCRA filed suit in U.S. district court against the FEC seeking to invalidate the regulations as opening a new avenue for circumvention of federal campaign finance law. In September 2004, in Shays v. FEC, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned some of the FEC’s new regulations. In response to the district court’s decision, in April 2005, the FEC published proposed new rules in order to conform to the Shays ruling. The proposed regulations reflect an attempt by the FEC to leave web logs, or “blogs,” created and wholly maintained by individuals, free of regulations under FECA, while extending limited regulation only to uses of the Internet involving substantial monetary transactions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7556/
Financial Regulatory Reform: Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as Proposed by the Obama Administration and H.R. 3126
This report provides a brief summary of the President's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (the CPFA Act or the Act) and delineates some of the substantive differences between it and H.R. 3126, as introduced. It then analyzes some of the policy implications of the proposal, focusing on the separation of safety and soundness regulation from consumer protection, financial innovation, and the scope of regulation. The report then raises some questions regarding state law preemption, sources of funding, and rule-making procedures that the Act does not fully answer. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26183/
The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications
The world has entered a global recession that is causing widespread business contraction, increases in unemployment, and shrinking government revenues. The crisis has exposed fundamental weaknesses in financial systems worldwide, demonstrated how interconnected and interdependent economies are today, and has posed vexing policy dilemmas. This report describes the financial crisis in detail, including various countries' methods of coping with and adapting to the situation; the role of Congress in the solution and recovery process; and the Obama Administration proposal for financial regulatory reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26286/
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/metadc99127/
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/metadc94216/
Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities
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/metadc103172/
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 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/metadc33053/
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit: Role of Foreign Governments
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26324/
Hedge Funds: Should They Be Regulated?
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26048/
Limiting Central Government Budget Deficits: International Experiences
This report focuses on how major developed and emerging-market country governments, particularly the G-20 and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, limit their fiscal deficits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103083/
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/metadc96734/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
The Federal Reserve (Fed) defines monetary policy as the actions it undertakes to influence the availability and cost of money and credit. Since 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. This role has become of great importance following the onset of the recent financial crisis. Congress has delegated responsibility for monetary policy to the Fed, but retains oversight responsibilities to ensure that the Fed is adhering to its statutory mandate “maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” This report looks at the background and influences of current legislation that would affect the Fed's practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87249/