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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Airport Improvement Program (AIP): Reauthorization Issues for Congress

Airport Improvement Program (AIP): Reauthorization Issues for Congress

Date: May 29, 2009
Creator: Kirk, Robert S.
Description: This report discusses the Airport Improvement Program and its complement, the passenger facility charge (PFC), within the broader context of airport capital development finance. It contains a brief history of federal support for airport construction and improvement, the report describes AIP funding, its source of revenues, funding distribution, and the types of projects the program funds.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
China and the Global Financial Crisis: Implications for the United States

China and the Global Financial Crisis: Implications for the United States

Date: June 3, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: This report discusses the economy of China and how it is has been affected by the recent economic downturn. China has recently enjoyed one of the world's fastest-growing economies and has been a major contributor to world economic growth, but several Chinese industries have been hard by the crisis, and millions of workers have been laid off. This report explores this issue in brief, including what actions the Chinese government is taking to combat the problem, as well as what actions China may take to assist in stabilizing the U.S. economy.
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China-U.S. Trade Issues

China-U.S. Trade Issues

Date: June 3, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, both with respect to the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation.
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El Salvador: Political, Economic, and Social Conditions and U.S. Relations

El Salvador: Political, Economic, and Social Conditions and U.S. Relations

Date: June 8, 2009
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando & Meyer, Peter J.
Description: This report discusses the state of the El Salvadoran government and recently elected President Mauricio Funes. This report also discusses the relationship between El Salvador and the United States, notably U.S. efforts to restore democracy and initiate economic reform in El Salvador. This report also briefly addresses the effects of the current financial crisis on El Salvador's economy, poverty levels, and crime rates.
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Financial Market Turmoil and U.S. Macroeconomic Performance

Financial Market Turmoil and U.S. Macroeconomic Performance

Date: June 9, 2009
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.
Description: Lending in credit markets requires confidence in the borrowers' ability to repay the debt (principal and interest) in full and on schedule. The current turmoil in U.S. financial markets is the result of a breakdown in that necessary confidence. A number of indicators have pointed to a substantial rise in the cost of credit and a decrease in the flow of credit to the broader economy. Economic policy may be needed to get credit flowing smoothly again and to mitigate the damage incurred by households and non-financial businesses. Three types of policy response exist and are being applied in varying degrees. This report discusses each of these policy responses.
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Trends in Discretionary Funding

Trends in Discretionary Funding

Date: June 10, 2009
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew & Levit, Mindy R.
Description: Discretionary spending is essentially all spending on federal wages and salaries. Discretionary spending is often divided into defense, domestic discretionary, and international outlays. Defense and domestic discretionary spending compose nearly all of discretionary spending. The Obama Administration contends that many domestic priorities have been underfunded and has proposed some cuts in defense spending. The current economic and financial turmoil, which has led to several major federal interventions, is projected to increase non-defense spending over the next several fiscal years.
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China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

Date: June 17, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Description: This report explores various aspects of the Chinese economy, including specific policies that some Members of Congress consider a form of currency manipulation, the U.S.-China economic relationship, and the state of the Chinese economy with respect to the current global economic crisis.
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The Labor Market during the Great Depression and the Current Recession

The Labor Market during the Great Depression and the Current Recession

Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: This report analyzes the labor market experiences of workers during the 1930s, which encompassed the almost five years of the Great Depression. Because it was a period very distant and different from today, considerable time is devoted to examining the employment and unemployment measures available at that time. The report ends by comparing the labor market conditions of the 1930s with those encountered by workers thus far during the recession that began in December 2007.
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The Financial Crisis: Impact on and Response by the European Union

The Financial Crisis: Impact on and Response by the European Union

Date: June 24, 2009
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: According to the most recent National Threat Assessment, the global financial crisis and its geopolitical implications pose the primary near-term security concern of the United States. Over the short run, both the EU and the United States are attempting to resolve the financial crisis while stimulating domestic demand to stem the economic downturn. These efforts have born little progress so far as the economic recession and the financial crisis have become reinforcing events, causing EU governments to forge policy responses to both crises. This report discusses this situation in detail and also discusses individual efforts by both the U.S. and EU to combat the effects of the crisis.
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Canada's Financial System: An Overview

Canada's Financial System: An Overview

Date: June 26, 2009
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report discusses the relative stability of Canada's financial system in comparison to the financial systems of other nations around the globe that are suffering from the current financial crisis. This report presents an overview of Canada's financial system and its supervisory framework and draws some distinctions between that system and the current U.S. framework.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Shields, Dennis A.
Description: 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 noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (otherwise known as the 2008 farm bill) includes authorization and funding for crop disaster programs, livestock assistance programs, and a tree assistance program. The new programs are designed to address the ad hoc nature of disaster assistance provided to producers during the last two decades.
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Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit: Role of Foreign Governments

Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit: Role of Foreign Governments

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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.
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Russia's Economic Performance and Policies and Their Implications for the United States

Russia's Economic Performance and Policies and Their Implications for the United States

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Description: As has been the case with most of the world's economies, the Russian economy has been hit hard by the current global financial crisis. Even before the financial crisis, however, Russia was showing signs of economic problems. Russian economic policies and performance raise important policy questions for the United States and the U.S.-Russian relationship which this report addresses. Might Russia's robust economic growth return? Is an economically strong Russia a threat or benefit to the United States? Is Russia following economic strategies that promote a market economy that underlies the international trade system manifested in the World Trade Organization?
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Financing Catastrophic Risk: Summary of the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2009 (S. 505 and H.R. 2555)

Financing Catastrophic Risk: Summary of the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2009 (S. 505 and H.R. 2555)

Date: July 1, 2009
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Description: This report discusses the drastic increase in demand for homeowners' insurance in Atlantic and Gulf Coast states following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This report also discusses various measures and efforts underway to enhance insurer capacity, pursue alternative forms of risk transfer, and create a national catastrophe financing facility, the last of which is an issue under considerable debate.
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The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications

The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications

Date: July 2, 2009
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.
Description: The world has entered a global recession that is causing widespread business contraction, increases in unemployment, and shrinking government revenues. The process for coping with the crisis by countries across the globe has been manifest in four basic phases. The first has been intervention to contain the contagion and restore confidence in the system. The second has been coping with the secondary effects of the crisis, particularly the global recession and flight of capital from countries in emerging markets and elsewhere that have been affected by the crisis. The third phase of this process is to make changes in the financial system to reduce risk and prevent future crises. The fourth phase of the process is dealing with political, social, and security effects of the financial turmoil. The role for Congress in this financial crisis is multifaceted. This report describes this role, as well as the financial crisis in general, in detail.
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Economic Stimulus: Issues and Policies

Economic Stimulus: Issues and Policies

Date: July 6, 2009
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.; Hungerford, Thomas L. & Labonte, Marc
Description: Recent policies have sought to contain damages spilling over from housing and financial markets to the broader economy, including monetary policy, which is the responsibility of the Federal Reserve, and fiscal policy, including a tax cut in February 2008 of $150 billion and two extensions of unemployment compensation in June and November of 2008. This report discusses this problem as well as certain interventional measures that the government has taken and is considering taking to combat it, including various fiscal stimulus packages.
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Preserving Homeownership: Foreclosure Prevention Initiatives

Preserving Homeownership: Foreclosure Prevention Initiatives

Date: July 6, 2009
Creator: Jones, Katie
Description: This report describes the consequences of foreclosure on homeowners, outlines recent foreclosure prevention plans implemented by the government and private organizations, and discusses the challenges associated with foreclosure prevention.
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The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition

The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition

Date: July 8, 2009
Creator: Kirchoff, Suzanne M.
Description: This report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights: major human rights problems, new human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents.
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The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition

The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition

Date: July 8, 2009
Creator: Kirchoff, Suzanne M.
Description: This report analyzes the current crises that the U.S. newspaper industry is facing in light of the recent economic downturn and the increasing number of readers who turn to the Internet for their news instead of to traditional media. Congress has begun debating whether the financial problems in the newspaper industry pose a public policy issue that warrants federal action.
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The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications

The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications

Date: July 10, 2009
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.
Description: 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.
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Hedge Funds: Should They Be Regulated?

Hedge Funds: Should They Be Regulated?

Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: 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.
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East Asia's Foreign Exchange Rate Policies

East Asia's Foreign Exchange Rate Policies

Date: July 16, 2009
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: This report examines the de facto foreign exchange rate policies adopted by the monetary authorities of East Asia. In some cases, there is a perceived discrepancy between the official (de jure) exchange rate policy and the observed de facto exchange rate policy. This report will focus primarily on the de facto exchange rate policies.
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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

Financial Regulatory Reform: Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as Proposed by the Obama Administration and H.R. 3126

Date: July 17, 2009
Creator: Carpenter, David H. & Jickling, Mark
Description: 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.
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The OECD Initiative on Tax Havens

The OECD Initiative on Tax Havens

Date: July 24, 2009
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.
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