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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The EMV Chip Card Transition: Background, Status, and Issues for Congress

The EMV Chip Card Transition: Background, Status, and Issues for Congress

Date: February 26, 2015
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Description: This report describes the financial harm caused by data breaches and explains how those breaches are carried out. It provides information about the effect of the transition in selected foreign countries. The report also discusses resolved and remaining impediments to completing the EMV ( Europay, MasterCard Visa) transition in the United States and identifies areas of potential congressional interest.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Swiss National Bank's Recent Currency Actions

The Swiss National Bank's Recent Currency Actions

Date: February 11, 2015
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report presents the foreign exchange value of the Swiss franc relative to the euro and dollar.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Introduction to Financial Services: International Supervision

Introduction to Financial Services: International Supervision

Date: February 10, 2015
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: This report discusses the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and subsequent global economic turmoil that underscored the interconnectedness of the global financial system as well as its weaknesses. In the wake of the crisis, leaders from the United States and other countries have pursued a wide range of reforms to the international financial regulatory system.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions

Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions

Date: February 9, 2015
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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.
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The Target and Other Financial Data Breaches: Frequently Asked Questions

The Target and Other Financial Data Breaches: Frequently Asked Questions

Date: February 4, 2015
Creator: Weiss, N. E. & Miller, Rena S.
Description: This report answers some frequently asked questions about the Target and selected other data breaches, including what is known to have happened in the breach, and what costs may result. It also examines some of the broader issues common to data breaches, including how the payment system works, how cybersecurity costs are shared and allocated within the payment system, who bears the losses in such breaches more generally, what emerging cybersecurity technologies may help prevent them, and what role the government could play in encouraging their adoption. The report addresses policy issues that were discussed in the 113th Congress to deal with these issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Who Regulates Whom and How? An Overview of U.S. Financial Regulatory Policy for Banking and Securities Markets

Who Regulates Whom and How? An Overview of U.S. Financial Regulatory Policy for Banking and Securities Markets

Date: January 30, 2015
Creator: Murphy, Edward V.
Description: This report provides an overview of the regulatory policies of the agencies that oversee banking and securities markets and explains which agencies are responsible for which institutions, activities, and markets. 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 them, and other agencies enforce existing rules for some institutions, but not for others. These regulatory activities are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Government Assistance for GMAC/Ally Financial: Unwinding the Government Stake

Government Assistance for GMAC/Ally Financial: Unwinding the Government Stake

Date: January 26, 2015
Creator: Webel, Baird & Canis, Bill
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2015

Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2015

Date: January 26, 2015
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress appropriated for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs) since 2000. It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Tax-Exempt Bonds: A Description of State and Local Government Debt

Tax-Exempt Bonds: A Description of State and Local Government Debt

Date: January 9, 2015
Creator: Maguire, Steven & Stupak, Jeffrey M.
Description: This report provides information about state and local government debt. State and local governments often issue debt instruments in exchange for the use of individuals' and businesses' savings.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress

Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress

Date: January 2, 2015
Creator: Webel, Baird
Description: This report discusses the legislation in the 113th Congress regarding insurance regulation. Among the insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 113th Congress are the application of federal orderly liquidation authority to insurers (addressed in H.R. 605); the supervision of some insurers by the Federal Reserve (addressed in H.R. 2140, H.R. 4510, H.R. 5461, S. 2102, and S. 2270); and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (addressed in S. 534, S. 1926, S. 2244, H.R. 1155/H.R. 1064, and H.R. 4871).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Living Wills": The Legal Regime for Constructing Resolution Plans for Certain Financial Institutions

"Living Wills": The Legal Regime for Constructing Resolution Plans for Certain Financial Institutions

Date: December 4, 2014
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Description: 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 ...
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Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Frequently Asked Questions

Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Frequently Asked Questions

Date: November 26, 2014
Creator: Akhtar, Shayerah Ilias; Carpenter, David H.; Levit, Mindy R. & Taylor, Julia
Description: This report addresses frequently asked questions about Ex-Im Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Leverage Ratios in Bank Capital Requirements

Leverage Ratios in Bank Capital Requirements

Date: October 31, 2014
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: This report provides a summary of leverage ratios used in bank capital requirements. It also explains the concept of leverage and the rationale behind a leverage ratio.
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
State Small Business Credit Initiative: Implementation and Funding Issues

State Small Business Credit Initiative: Implementation and Funding Issues

Date: October 16, 2014
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay
Description: This report examines the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and its implementation, including Treasury's response to initial program audits conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Treasury's Office of Inspector General (OIG). The SSBCI provides funding, allocated by formula and distributed in one-third increments, to states, territories, and eligible municipalities (hereinafter referred to as states) to expand existing or create new state small business investment programs, including state capital access programs, collateral support programs, loan participation programs, loan guarantee programs, and venture capital programs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Multiemployer Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans: A Primer and Analysis of Policy Options

Multiemployer Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans: A Primer and Analysis of Policy Options

Date: October 7, 2014
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: This report discusses the nature of multiemployer defined benefit (DB) pension plans, and issues regarding their financial solvency.
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 6, 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
Dark Pools in Equity Trading: Policy Concerns and Recent Developments

Dark Pools in Equity Trading: Policy Concerns and Recent Developments

Date: September 26, 2014
Creator: Shorter, Gary & Miller, Rena S.
Description: This report examines the confluence of factors that led to the rise of dark pools; the potential benefits and costs of such trading; some regulatory and congressional concerns over dark pools; recent regulatory developments by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which oversees broker-dealers; and some recent lawsuits and enforcement actions garnering significant media attention.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues

Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues

Date: September 25, 2014
Creator: Marples, Donald J. & Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: This report discusses relevant portions of the U.S. corporate income tax system and how inversions have commonly been structured. It also looks at how Congress and Department of the Treasury have reduced the benefits of inversions, including The American Jobs Creation Act, as well as post-2004 inversions and treasury regulations, and policy options.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress

Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress

Date: September 17, 2014
Creator: Webel, Baird
Description: This report discusses the legislation in the 113th Congress regarding insurance regulation. Among the insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 113th Congress are the application of federal orderly liquidation authority to insurers (addressed in H.R. 605); the supervision of some insurers by the Federal Reserve (addressed in H.R. 2140, H.R. 4510, H.R. 5461, S. 2102, and S. 2270); and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (addressed in S. 534, S. 1926, S. 2244, H.R. 1155/H.R. 1064, and H.R. 4871).
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: September 17, 2014
Creator: Lanza, Emily M. & Nicola, Thomas J.
Description: This report addresses selected legal issues that may be raised regarding entitlement to Social Security benefits as Congress considers possible changes to the Social Security program in view of projected long-range shortfalls in the Social Security Trust Funds.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

Date: August 28, 2014
Creator: Meyerson, Noah P.
Description: This report explains what the Social Security trust funds are and how they work. It describes the historical operations of the trust funds and the Social Security trustees' projections of future operations. It explains what could happen if Congress allowed the trust funds to run out. It also analyzes two scenarios that assume Congress waits until the moment of insolvency to act, showing the magnitude of benefit cuts or tax increases needed and how such changes would affect beneficiaries.
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