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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Financial Market Intervention

Financial Market Intervention

Date: September 29, 2008
Creator: Murphy, Edward V.
Description: Financial markets continue to experience significant disturbance and the banking sector remains fragile. Efforts to restore confidence have been met with mixed success thus far. After attempting to deal with troubled institutions on a case-by-case basis, Treasury has proposed a plan to purchase mortgage-related assets to alleviate stress in financial markets and in the banking system. This report provides answers to some frequently asked questions concerning the financial disruptions of September 2008 and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in H.R. 3997.
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Proposal to Allow Treasury to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets to Address Financial Instability

Proposal to Allow Treasury to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets to Address Financial Instability

Date: September 22, 2008
Creator: Murphy, Edward V. & Webel, Baird
Description: Financial markets underwent severe stress during the week of September 15 - 22, 2008. After Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and AIG received a bridge loan from the Federal Reserve, policymakers reassessed their case-by-case approach to resolving financial problems. Secretary of the Treasury Paulson announced a plan to allow Treasury to purchase mortgage-related assets from U.S. financial institutions. The announced intent of the plan is to unclog financial markets, increase the health of the banking sector, and reduce ongoing risks to the economy. This report discusses a draft of the proposal as it stood on September 21, 2008, and analyzes frequently asked questions.
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The Resolution Trust Corporation: Historical Analysis

The Resolution Trust Corporation: Historical Analysis

Date: September 26, 2008
Creator: Shorter, Gary
Description: In a 1989 legislative response to financial troubles in the thrift industry, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA, P.L. 101-73) was enacted. FIRREA's principal mission was to conduct a partially tax-payer funded program to address the troubles of the nation's many insolvent thrifts. To do so, it established a new entity, the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), whose mission was to address troubled thrifts by arranging their sale to other institutions or shuttering them and disposing of their assets. This report analyzes the creation and functions of the RTC, including criticisms and results of its actions.
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The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present

The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present

Date: September 23, 2008
Creator: Webel, Baird; Weiss, N. Eric & Labonte, Marc
Description: In response to ongoing financial turmoil that began in the subprime mortgage-backed securities market, the federal government has intervened with private corporations on a large scale and in an ad hoc manner three times from the beginning of 2008 through September 19, 2008. These interventions have prompted questions regarding the taxpayer costs and the sources of funding. The federal government may or may not end up seeing a positive fiscal contribution from the recent interventions. The results of previous government financial interventions are summarized in this report.
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U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

Date: October 15, 2008
Creator: Webel, Baird; Weiss, N. Eric & Labonte, Marc
Description: In response to ongoing financial turmoil that began in the subprime mortgage-backed securities market, the federal government has intervened with private corporations on a large scale and in an ad hoc manner three times from the beginning of 2008 through September 19, 2008. These interventions have prompted questions regarding the taxpayer costs and the sources of funding. The federal government may or may not end up seeing a positive fiscal contribution from the recent interventions. The results of previous government financial interventions are summarized in this report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in Conservatorship

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in Conservatorship

Date: September 15, 2008
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: On September 7, 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that play a critical play in the U.S. home mortgage market, in conservatorship. As conservator, the FHFA has full powers to control the assets and operation of the firms. Dividends to common and preferred shareholders are suspended, but the U.S. Treasury has put in place a set of financing agreements to ensure that the GSEs continue to meet their obligations to holders of bonds that they have issued or guaranteed. This means that the U.S. taxpayer now stands behind about $5 trillion of GSE debt. This report provides basic information on the GSEs, the government intervention, and the potential cost to the taxpayer.
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H.R. 6076: Home Retention and Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

H.R. 6076: Home Retention and Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

Date: August 29, 2008
Creator: Murphy, Edward Vincent
Description: The Home Retention and Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 would defer foreclosure for eligible mortgage borrowers for up to 270 days. If passed, the bill would give extra time to some borrowers and lenders to consider alternatives to foreclosure, including traditional loss mitigation and participation in the new Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program for refinancing troubled loans. Some policymakers believe that a moratorium on foreclosures could help stabilize housing markets and alleviate problems from the subprime financial turmoil. This report explores this issue in detail and analyzes the individual aspects of the relevant legislation.
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Community Development Block Grants: Legislative Proposals to Assist Communities Affected by Home Foreclosures

Community Development Block Grants: Legislative Proposals to Assist Communities Affected by Home Foreclosures

Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Boyd, Eugene & Gonzales, Oscar R.
Description: In response to the rising number of home mortgage foreclosures, several bills have been introduced during the 110th Congress that would provide additional federal assistance to state and local governments with high concentrations of foreclosed homes, subprime mortgage loans, and delinquent home mortgages. At least one of these proposals, H.R. 3221, as passed by the Senate, includes provisions that would use the framework of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to channel an additional $4 billion in assistance to state and local governments. This provision faces an uncertain future; objections to it have been raised by the Bush Administration and others, contending that the assistance will result in the rescue of lenders and speculators.
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Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Financial Problems: Frequently Asked Questions

Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Financial Problems: Frequently Asked Questions

Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Weiss, N. Eric
Description: Recent turmoil in the housing and financial markets have caused concern over the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are chartered by Congress as government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and are widely believed to have an implicit guarantee from the federal government. The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) -- the GSEs safety and soundness regulator -- has repeated assurances that Fannie and Freddie have adequate capital, but as highly leveraged financial intermediaries, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have limited resources against losses. This report analyzes various aspects of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in relation to the financial turmoil that began in September 2008.
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The Weatherization Assistance Program: A Fact Sheet

The Weatherization Assistance Program: A Fact Sheet

Date: December 8, 1999
Creator: Butler, Alice D
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department