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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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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Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Date: August 4, 2014
Creator: Meyerson, Noah P.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues

Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues

Date: July 7, 2013
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S. & Nicola, Thomas J.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Tolling of Interstate Highways: Issues in Brief

Tolling of Interstate Highways: Issues in Brief

Date: February 13, 2013
Creator: Kirk, Robert S.
Description: 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.
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Ebbs and Flows of Federal Debt

Ebbs and Flows of Federal Debt

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Levit, Mindy R.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iraq's Debt Relief: Procedure and Potential Implications for International Debt Relief

Iraq's Debt Relief: Procedure and Potential Implications for International Debt Relief

Date: October 2, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: 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.
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Securities Fraud Class Action Certification: Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.

Securities Fraud Class Action Certification: Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.

Date: August 15, 2014
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V.
Description: 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.
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The OECD Initiative on Tax Havens

The OECD Initiative on Tax Havens

Date: July 29, 2010
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?

Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?

Date: October 20, 2014
Creator: Zanotti, Jim
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Foreign Direct Investment: Current Issues

Foreign Direct Investment: Current Issues

Date: July 14, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Taxation of Hedge Fund and Private Equity Managers

Taxation of Hedge Fund and Private Equity Managers

Date: March 7, 2014
Creator: Marples, Donald J.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Dark Pools" In Equity Trading: Significance and Recent Developments

"Dark Pools" In Equity Trading: Significance and Recent Developments

Date: August 27, 2014
Creator: Shorter, Gary & Miller, Rena S.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 113th Congress, Second Session

International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 113th Congress, Second Session

Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices

Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices

Date: August 20, 2014
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: This report describes Social Security trust fund investment practices under current law.
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Designating Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs)

Designating Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs)

Date: August 28, 2014
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department