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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the non-insured assistance program and emergency disaster loans. In recent years, Congress frequently has made supplemental financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers on an ad-hoc basis, most notably in the form of direct crop disaster payments and emergency livestock assistance. Congress provided an estimated $3.1 billion of such assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-7) for 2001 and 2002 crop and livestock losses. Some farm groups would like to see similar assistance provided for 2003 losses, particularly in regions of the Midwest and West that have experienced prolonged drought conditions. To date, no ad-hoc assistance has been made available for 2003 losses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7072/
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the non-insured assistance program and emergency disaster loans. In recent years, Congress frequently has made supplemental financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers on an ad-hoc basis, most notably in the form of direct crop disaster payments and emergency livestock assistance. Congress provided an estimated $3.1 billion of such assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-7) for 2001 and 2002 crop and livestock losses. Some farm groups would like to see similar assistance provided for 2003 losses, particularly in regions of the Midwest and West that have experienced prolonged drought conditions. To date, no ad-hoc assistance has been made available for 2003 losses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7209/
Risk Management and Critical Infrastructure Protection: Assessing, Integrating, and Managing Threats, Vulnerabilities and Consequences
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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 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689285/
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/metadc689387/
Senate Banking: Financial Regulatory Improvement Act
This report briefly highlights some of the major policy proposals included in a May 12, 2015 discussion draft released by Senator Richard Shelby that is scheduled for markup by the Senate Banking Committee. The draft encompasses a broad package of reforms to the financial regulatory system, including some changes to the Dodd-Frank Act (P.L. 111-203). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689327/
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/metadc689238/
Taxes to Finance Superfund
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Social Security and Medicare "Lock Boxes"
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Social Security and Medicare "Lock Boxes"
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Small Business Disaster Assistance: Responding to the Terrorist Attacks
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The STOCK Act, Insider Trading, and Public Financial Reporting by Federal Officials
An overview of the STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012), which was signed into law on April 4, 2012, affirms and makes explicit the fact that there is no exemption from the "insider trading" laws and regulations for Members of Congress, congressional employees, or any federal officials. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85408/
Trade and Current Account Balances: Statistics
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Trade and Current Account Balances: Statistics
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State Securities Class Action Suits: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner
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Social Security Primer
Report that provides an overview of Social Security financing and benefits under current law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227730/
Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues
The Social Security "full retirement age" will gradually rise from 65 to 67 beginning with people who attain age 62 in 2000 (i.e., those born in 1938). Early retirement benefits will still be available beginning at age 62, but at lower levels. To help solve Social Security's long-range financing problems, it has been proposed that these ages be raised further. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26050/
Social Security Reform: Current Issues and Legislation
Report that 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/metadc228041/
Statutory Offices of Inspector General: Past and Present
Statutory offices of inspector general (OIG) consolidate responsibility for audits and investigations within a federal agency. Established by public law as permanent, nonpartisan, independent offices, they now exist in more than 60 establishments and entities, including all departments and largest agencies, along with numerous boards and commissions. Various initiatives and proposals in the 110th Congress are designed to strengthen the IGs' independence, add to their reports, and create new posts in the Intelligence Community. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10537/
Primer on Energy Derivatives and Their Regulation
Prices of oil and other energy commodities are set in futures and derivatives markets, where producers, commercial users, and financial speculators buy and sell contracts whose value is linked to the price of the underlying commodity. Trading occurs on regulated futures exchanges and in a largely unregulated over-the-counter (OTC) market; both forms of trading are global in scope. This report presents basic information about these markets, the instruments traded, the regulatory framework, speculation, and current legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10772/
Securities Arbitration: Background and Question of Fairness
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The Sensitivity of Small Businesses to Interest Rates: A Cross-Sectional View
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Tax Credit Bonds: Overview and Analysis
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. It also discusses related pieces of legislation and what the most common uses of the proceeds from TCBs are. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26145/
TARP Assistance for the U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Unwinding the Government Stake in GMAC
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 it GMAC will be able to pay back the government for Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122209/
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was created by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act1 (EESA) enacted on October 3, 2008, to address the ongoing financial crisis. This report provides a brief outline of the programs created under TARP, recent 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. This report will be updated as warranted by market and legislative events. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86568/
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was created by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) enacted on October 3, 2008 to address the ongoing financial crisis. This report provides a brief outline of the programs created under TARP, recent 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/metadc103108/
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was created by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act1 (EESA) enacted on October 3, 2008, to address the ongoing financial crisis. This report provides a brief outline of the programs created under TARP, recent 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. This report will be updated as warranted by market and legislative events. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33018/
U.S. Government Agencies Involved in Export Promotion: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the federal agencies that participate in U.S. export promotion efforts and the issues that they raise for Congress. It proceeds first by discussing the coordination, budgets, and functions of federal government agencies involved in promoting exports. Next, the report provides an overview of the missions and activities of key federal government agencies that support exports. The last section of the report discusses agency-related issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29636/
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices
Petroleum prices rose sharply in the first half of 2008, at one time reaching more than $140 per barrel of crude oil. Since July, however, petroleum prices and import volumes have fallen at a historically rapid pace; in November, prices of crude oil fell below $55 per barrel. The fall in the cost of energy imports combined with the drop in import volumes as a result of the slowdown in economic activity has reversed the trend of rising energy imports costs and will sharply reduce the overall costs of U.S. energy imports for the rest of 2008. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the rising oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10646/
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress
Sovereign debt, also called public debt or government debt, refers to debt incurred by governments. Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, public debt in advanced economies has increased substantially. A number of factors related to the financial crisis have fueled the increase, including fiscal stimulus packages, the nationalization of private-sector debt, and lower tax revenue. Even if economic growth reverses some of these trends, such as by boosting tax receipts and reducing spending on government programs, aging populations in advanced economies are expected to strain government debt levels in coming years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86582/
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress
Sovereign debt, also called public debt or government debt, refers to debt incurred by governments. Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, public debt in advanced economies has increased substantially. A number of factors related to the financial crisis have fueled the increase, including fiscal stimulus packages, the nationalization of private-sector debt, and lower tax revenue. Even if economic growth reverses some of these trends, such as by boosting tax receipts and reducing spending on government programs, aging populations in advanced economies are expected to strain government debt levels in coming years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83966/
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress
Sovereign debt, also called public debt or government debt, refers to debt incurred by governments. Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, public debt in advanced economies has increased substantially. A number of factors related to the financial crisis have fueled the increase, including fiscal stimulus packages, the nationalization of private-sector debt, and lower tax revenue. Even if economic growth reverses some of these trends, such as by boosting tax receipts and reducing spending on government programs, aging populations in advanced economies are expected to strain government debt levels in coming years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40171/
The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons from Chile
From 1981-1984, Chile experienced a banking crisis that in relative terms had a cost comparable in size to that perhaps facing the United States today. The Chilean Central Bank acted quickly and decisively in three ways to restore faith in the credit markets. It restructured firm and household loans, purchased nonperforming loans temporarily, and facilitated the sale or liquidation of insolvent financial institutions. These three measures increased liquidity in the credit markets and restored the balance sheets of the viable financial institutions. This report explores this incident in detail and in relation to the current financial situation in the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10799/
The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons from Japan
Japan's five bank bailout packages in the late 1990s may hold some lessons for the United States. Overcoming the crisis in Japan's banks took a combination of capital injections, new laws and regulations, stronger oversight, a reorganization of the banking sector, moderate economic recovery, and several years of banks working off their non-performing loans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10798/
The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons from Sweden
In the early 1990s, Sweden faced a large banking and exchange rate crisis which it eventually resolved. Four lessons that emerged from Sweden's experience are: 1) the resolution process must be transparent; 2) the resolution agency must be politically and financially independent; 3) market discipline must be maintained; and 4) there must be a plan to jump-start credit flows in the financial system. This report provides an overview of the Swedish banking crisis and an explanation of the measures Sweden used to restore its banking system to health. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10800/
Veterans' Benefits: Current Life Insurance Programs
This report provides information on the current Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) life insurance programs available for servicemembers and veterans, management and administration issues, and associated policy issues and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31380/
Veterans' Benefits: Current Life Insurance Programs
Report providing information on the current Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) life insurance programs available for servicemembers and veterans, management and administration issues, and associated policy issues and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227684/
The Role of Public Works Infrastructure in Economic Stimulus
Interest in using federal government spending to stimulate U.S. economic recovery has intensified recently in response to indicators showing significant deterioration of the economy. Some policymakers favor using traditional monetary and fiscal policies. Others, however, favor making accelerated investments in the nation's public infrastructure in order to create jobs while also meeting infrastructure needs. This report is an overview of policy issues associated with the approach of using infrastructure as a mechanism for economic stimulus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83914/
Saving Rates in the United States: Calculation and Comparison
The amount of money saved has important economic consequences. Nationally, the amount of saving affects how much can be invested and ultimately the size of the capital stock. This report explains how national saving is measured, presents recent estimates of saving rates in the United States, and, for comparison, provides those of other major industrial countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31445/
Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the MDBs and highlights major issues for Congress. The first section discusses how the MDBs operate, including the history of the MDBs, their operations and organizational structure, and the effectiveness of MDB financial assistance. The second section discusses the role of Congress in the MDBs, including congressional legislation authorizing and appropriating U.S. contributions to the MDBs; congressional oversight; and U.S. commercial interests in the MDBs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86560/