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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
China's Sovereign Wealth Fund: Developments and Policy Implications

China's Sovereign Wealth Fund: Developments and Policy Implications

Date: September 23, 2010
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: China's ruling executive body, the State Council, established the China Investment Corporation (CIC), a sovereign wealth fund, in September 2007 to invest $200 billion of China's then $1.4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves. Congress and financial analysts raised concerns about the CIC after its creation, partly because it was a comparatively large sovereign wealth fund, partly because it was government-owned, and partly because it reported directly to the State Council. These concerns raise question about U.S. policies on inward foreign direct investment (FDI) and the global competitiveness of U.S. financial institutions. Certain commentators suggest that more should be done to protect the United States from China's rising role in international capital markets.
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Currency Manipulation: The IMF and WTO

Currency Manipulation: The IMF and WTO

Date: September 27, 2010
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E.
Description: This report describes how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO) deal with the issue of currency manipulation. It also discusses apparent discrepancies in their charters and ways those differences might be addressed.
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The Status of the Basel III Capital Adequacy Accord

The Status of the Basel III Capital Adequacy Accord

Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: Eubanks, Walter W.
Description: The new Basel Capital Adequacy Accord (Basel III) is an agreement among countries' central banks and bank supervisory authorities on the amount of capital banks must hold as a cushion against losses and insolvency. Basel III is of concern to Congress mainly because it could put U.S. financial institutions at a competitive disadvantage in world financial markets. This report follows the basic elements of the Basel III documents on the types of capital requirements and their phase-in schedule, which were approved by the Basel member central bank governors on September 12, 2010. The elements are the new definition of Tier 1 capital, the minimum common equity capital, the capital conservation buffer, countercyclical capital buffer, liquidity coverage ratio, global leverage ratio, and wind-down government capital injections. The report concludes with some implications drawn from its content.
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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

Date: December 1, 2009
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) was established in 1969 and began operations in 1971 as a development agency to promote and assist U.S. business investment in developing nations. Today, OPIC is a U.S. government agency that provides project financing, investment insurance, and other services for U.S. businesses in over 150 developing nations and emerging economies. To date, OPIC has funded, guaranteed, or insured over $180 billion in investments.
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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 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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Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America: An Overview and Selected Issues

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America: An Overview and Selected Issues

Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles & Lake, Jennifer E.
Description: The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) is a trilateral initiative that was launched in March 2005 for the purpose of increasing and enhancing security and prosperity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This initiative promoted communication and cooperation across several key policy areas of mutual interest, such as improving certain sectors of the economy, developing higher health and safety standards, and addressing environmental concerns. This report describes this initiative in brief detail, including summaries of several SPP-related meetings between the three countries' leaders.
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Iceland's Financial Crisis

Iceland's Financial Crisis

Date: November 20, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: On November 19, 2008, Iceland and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finalized an agreement on a $6 billion economic stabilization program supported by a $2.1 billion loan from the IMF. Iceland's banking system had collapsed as a culmination of a series of decisions the banks made that left them highly exposed to disruptions in financial markets. The collapse of the banks also raises questions for U.S. leaders and others about supervising banks that operate across national borders, especially as it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish the limits of domestic financial markets.
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Pakistan's Capital Crisis: Implications for U.S. Policy

Pakistan's Capital Crisis: Implications for U.S. Policy

Date: November 21, 2008
Creator: Martin, Michael F. & Kronstadt, K. Alan
Description: Pakistan - a key U.S. ally in global efforts to combat Islamist militancy - is in urgent need of an estimated $4 billion in capital to avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. The Pakistani government is seeking short-term financial assistance from a number of sources, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China, and an informal group of nations (including the United States) known as the "Friends of Pakistan." The current crisis has placed some strain on U.S.-Pakistan relations.
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Pakistan's Capital Crisis: Implications for U.S. Policy

Pakistan's Capital Crisis: Implications for U.S. Policy

Date: November 7, 2008
Creator: Martin, Michael F. & Kronstadt, K. Alan
Description: Pakistan - a key U.S. ally in global efforts to combat Islamist militancy - is in urgent need of an estimated $4 billion in capital to avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. The elected government of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani is seeking short-term financial assistance from a number of sources, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China, and an informal group of nations (including the United States) known as the "Friends of Pakistan." The current crisis has placed some strain on U.S.-Pakistan relations.
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The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date: October 27, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: This report discusses two potential roles the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may have in helping to resolve the current global financial crisis: (1) immediate crisis control through balance of payments lending to emerging market and less-developed countries and (2) increased surveillance of the global economy through better coordination with the international financial regulatory agencies.
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The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date: October 30, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: This report discusses two potential roles the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may have in helping to resolve the current global financial crisis: (1) immediate crisis control through balance of payments lending to emerging market and less-developed countries and (2) increased surveillance of the global economy through better coordination with the international financial regulatory agencies.
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China's "Hot Money" Problems

China's "Hot Money" Problems

Date: July 21, 2008
Creator: Martin, Michael F. & Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: China has experienced a sharp rise in the inflow of so-called "hot money," foreign capital entering the country supposedly seeking short-term profits, especially in 2008. Chinese estimates of the amount of "hot money" in China vary from $500 billion to $1.75 trillion. The influx of "hot money" is contributing to China's already existing problems with inflation. Efforts to reduce the inflationary effects of "hot money" may accelerate the inflow, while actions to reduce the inflow of "hot money" may threaten China's economic growth, as well as have negative consequences for the U.S. and global economy.
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The Future Role of U.S. Trade Policy: An Overview

The Future Role of U.S. Trade Policy: An Overview

Date: July 24, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Cooper, William M.
Description: The United States has become increasingly integrated with the rest of the world economy. This integration has offered benefits and presented challenges to U.S. business, agriculture, labor, and consumers. Those who can compete in the more integrated economy have enjoyed opportunities to broaden their success, while those who are challenged by increased foreign competition have been forced to adjust and some have exited the market or relocated overseas. Some observers contend that, in order to remain globally competitive, the United States must continue to support trade liberalization policies, while assisting those hurt by trade. Others have raised doubts over whether free trade policies benefit the U.S. economy. This report provides an overview and background on the debate over the future course of U.S. trade policy.
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The Future Role of U.S. Trade Policy: An Overview

The Future Role of U.S. Trade Policy: An Overview

Date: July 14, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Cooper, William M.
Description: The United States has become increasingly integrated with the rest of the world economy. This integration has offered benefits and presented challenges to U.S. business, agriculture, labor, and consumers. Those who can compete in the more integrated economy have enjoyed opportunities to broaden their success, while those who are challenged by increased foreign competition have been forced to adjust and some have exited the market or relocated overseas. Some observers contend that, in order to remain globally competitive, the United States must continue to support trade liberalization policies, while assisting those hurt by trade. Others have raised doubts over whether free trade policies benefit the U.S. economy. This report provides an overview and background on the debate over the future course of U.S. trade policy.
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Currency Manipulation: The IMF and WTO

Currency Manipulation: The IMF and WTO

Date: May 8, 2008
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E.
Description: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO) approach the issue of "currency manipulation" differently. The IMF Articles of Agreement prohibit countries from manipulating their currency for the purpose of gaining unfair trade advantage, but the IMF cannot force a country to change its exchange rate policies. The WTO has rules against subsidies, but these are very narrow and specific and do not seem to encompass currency manipulation. Several options might be considered for addressing this matter in the future, if policymakers deem this a wise course of action.
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The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

Date: April 1, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: In Juen 2005, G8 finance ministers proposed the new Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). The MDRI proposes to cancel debts of some of the world's poorest countries owed to the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and African Development Bank. This report discusses MDRI's implementation and raises some issues regarding debt relief's effectiveness as a form of foreign assistance for possible congressional consideration.
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Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis

Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis

Date: August 15, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: Foreign direct investment in the United States1 declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate. In 2007, according to Department of Commerce data, foreigners invested $237 billion. Foreign direct investments are highly sought after by many State and local governments that are struggling to create additional jobs in their localities. While some in Congress encourage such investment to offset the perceived negative economic effects of U.S. firms investing abroad, others are concerned about foreign acquisitions of U.S. firms that are considered essential to U.S. national and economic security.
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China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

Date: November 20, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Description: Many Members of Congress charge that China's policy of accumulating foreign reserves (especially U.S. dollars) to influence the value of its currency constitutes a form of currency manipulation intended to make its exports cheaper and imports into China more expensive than they would be under free market conditions. Although China made modest reforms to its currency policy in 2005, Members contend the forms have not gone far enough and have warned of potential legislative action. This report summarizes the main findings CRS Report RL32165, China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy.
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China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

Date: May 8, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Description: Many Members of Congress charge that China's policy of accumulating foreign reserves (especially U.S. dollars) to influence the value of its currency constitutes a form of currency manipulation intended to make its exports cheaper and imports into China more expensive than they would be under free market conditions. Although China made modest reforms to its currency policy in 2005, Members contend the forms have not gone far enough and have warned of potential legislative action. This report summarizes the main findings CRS Report RL32165, China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy.
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U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues

U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues

Date: August 15, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: The United States is the largest investor abroad and the largest recipient of direct investment in the world. Some observers believe U.S. firms invest abroad to avoid U.S. labor unions or high U.S. wages, however, 70% of U.S. foreign direct investment is concentrated in high income developed countries. Even more striking is the fact that the share of investment going to developing countries has fallen in recent years. Most economists conclude that direct investment abroad does not lead to fewer jobs or lower incomes overall for Americans and that the majority of jobs lost among U.S. manufacturing firms over the past decade reflect a broad restructuring of U.S. manufacturing industries.
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Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY1998-2009

Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY1998-2009

Date: August 8, 2008
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E.
Description: This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress appropriated during the past 11 years for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs). It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations. It will be updated periodically. Three companion reports provide further information on the MDBs. See CRS Report RS20793, Multilateral Development Banks: Basic Background, CRS Report RS20791, Multilateral Development Banks: Procedures for U.S. Participation, and CRS Report RS22134 International Financial Institutions: Funding U.S. Participation.
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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle
Description: This report outlines challenges faced by Tajikistan since its five-year civil war ended in 1997. It discusses U.S. policy and assistance. Basic facts and biographical information are provided. This report may be updated. Related products include CRS Report RL33458, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, updated regularly.
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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle
Description: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)1 was established in 1969 and began operations in 1971 to promote and assist U.S. business investment in developing nations. OPIC is a U.S. government agency that provides project financing, investment insurance, and other services for U.S. businesses in 154 developing nations and emerging economies. OPIC is currently authorized through March 9, 2009 under the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329).
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