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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2011
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress
This report evaluates the purpose, membership, financing, and focus of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) activities. It also discusses the role of Congress in shaping U.S. policy at the IMF and concludes by addressing key issues, both legislative and oversight-related, that Congress may wish to consider, including: the role of the IMF as a lender of last resort; the adequacy of IMF resources; and the effectiveness of IMF surveillance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93907/
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), an independent federal government agency, is the official export credit agency of the United States. It helps finance American exports of manufactured goods and services, with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers, primarily in circumstances when alternative financing is not available. Ex-Im Bank also may assist U.S. exporters to meet foreign, officially sponsored, export credit competition. Ex-Im Bank's main programs are direct loans, loan guarantees, working capital guarantees, and export credit insurance. Ex-Im Bank transactions are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The Bank operates under a renewable charter, the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945, which requires that all of the Bank's financing have a reasonable assurance of repayment and directs the Bank to supplement, and to not compete with, private capital. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83851/
Standard & Poor's Downgrade of U.S. Government Long-Term Debt
This report discusses the lowering of the U.S. government debt credit rating by Standard & Poor's (S&P) on August 5, 2011. It discusses the reasons behind the lowered credit rating and implications for the U.S. economy, other debt markets, and banking regulations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93897/
Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank: Issues and Policy Options for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues and options for Congress relating to the reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank. The scope of this report is limited to Ex-Im Bank reauthorization issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93876/
Multilateral Development Banks: How the United States Makes and Implements Policy
This report analyzes how the United States makes policy towards the multilateral development banks (MDBs) and identifies ways by which Congress can shape U.S. policy and influence the activities of the banks themselves. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99020/
The Depreciating Dollar: Economic Effects and Policy Response
This report discusses the trend of depreciation of the dollar since 2002. This raises concern among some in Congress and the public that the dollar's decline is a symptom of broader economic problems, such as a weak economic recovery, rising public debt, and a diminished standing in the global economy. However, a falling currency is not always a problem, but possibly an element of economic adjustments that are, on balance, beneficial to the economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40236/
The United States as a Net Debtor Nation: Overview of the International Investment Position
This report looks at international investing patterns and impacts, and ends with considerations on this topic for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103183/
Regulation of Debit Interchange Fees
This report provides a description of the debit payments process and network pricing, as well as an overview of the effects of the Durbin Amendement implemented by the Federal Reserve which includes a cap on the interchange fee for large issuers. In particular, the Durbin Amendment is discussed in light of comments by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98011/
Greece's Debt Crisis: Overview, Policy Responses, and Implications
This report covers the sovereign debt crisis currently faced by the Eurozone which has culminated with Greece, which is at the center of the crisis, Ireland, and Portugal borrowing money from other European countries and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to avoid default. Topics covered include: the build-up of Greece's debt crisis, policy responses with limited success, and broader implications. Specific issues for Congress include how the U.S. economy and banking industry will be affect by these recent events. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93837/
Currency Manipulation: The IMF and WTO
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31498/
Treasury Securities and the U.S. Sovereign Credit Default Swap Market
This report explains how the sovereign credit default swap (CDS) market works and how such CDS price trends may illuminate fiscal stresses facing sovereign governments. Although CDS prices may be imperfect measures of the federal government's fiscal condition, some investors may try to glean information from those price trends. CDS prices have been playing an important role in the European government debt markets and could potentially affect U.S debt markets in the future. European policymakers have debated certain restrictions on types of sovereign CDS trading, and such calls for reform may be of interest to U.S. lawmakers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93895/
A Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: Background and Congressional Options
This report provides an overview of the issues and options that have been raised during prior consideration of proposals for an amendment to the constitution regarding the balancing of the U.S. government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93889/
Conflicts of Interest in Derivatives Clearing
This report examines how conflicts of interest may arise regarding derivatives clearing and analyzes the measures that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed to address them. It discusses what effect, if any, ownership and control limits may have on derivatives clearing; and whether such limits effectively address the types of conflicts of interest that are of concern to some in the 112th Congress. These rulemakings may interest the 112th Congress as part of its oversight authority for the CFTC and SEC. Trends in clearing and trading derivatives, and the ownership of swap clearinghouses, are discussed in the Appendix. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99030/
Globalization, Worker Insecurity, and Policy Approaches
Today's global economy, or what many call globalization, has a growing impact on the economic futures of American companies, workers, and families. The current wave of globalization is supported by three broad trends: technology, increase in world supply of labor, and reduced government policies to international trade and investment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86659/
Globalization, Worker Insecurity, and Policy Approaches
This report discusses the trends driving global economic integration, sources of worker insecurity and policy approaches. There appears to be a range of views on the merits of each of these policy approaches and the extent to which they can be designed and implemented in a way that would reduce worker insecurity without undermining the benefits of globalization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84075/
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2011
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration has requested and how much Congress has 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. It will be updated periodically as annual appropriation figures are known. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84094/
Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis
Foreign direct investment in the United States declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate. [Note: The United States defines foreign direct investment as the ownership or control, directly or indirectly, by one foreign person (individual, branch, partnership, association, government, etc.) of 10% or more of the voting securities of an incorporated U.S. business enterprise or an equivalent interest in an unincorporated U.S. business enterprise. 15 CFR § 806.15 (a)(1).] digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84118/
Changing the Federal Reserve's Mandate: An Economic Analysis
This report discusses a number of implementation issues surrounding an economic inflation target. These include what rate of inflation to target, what inflation measure to use, whether to set a point target or range, and what penalties to impose if a target is missed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103136/
Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank: Issues and Policy Options for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues and options for Congress relating to the reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank. The scope of this report is limited to Ex-Im Bank reauthorization issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40166/
Derivatives Regulation in the 111th Congress
This report summarizes derivatives legislation that was considered but not enacted by the 111th Congress, and it provides background on the derivatives market. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103061/
Iraq’s Debt Relief: Procedure and Potential Implications for International Debt Relief
This report discusses the Iraqi debt problem in three parts: [1] overview of the Iraq debt situation following the ouster of the Saddam regime; [2] subsequent debt relief negotiations and their resolution; [3] possible implications for future debt relief cases that arise from Iraq's experience. The implications are: a willingness by the international community to grant a stay on the enforcement of creditor rights; an increased flexibility in Paris Club debt relief decisions; and an unwillingness by successor regimes to claim that their debt is odious and repudiate it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99093/
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84103/
Finance and the Economy: Occupy Wall Street in Historical Perspective
This report presents examples of political statements about the fundamental costs and benefits of finance and recent economic research that points to aspects of financial activity that may not be advantageous to the real economy. The report does not attempt a comprehensive survey of either literature, but provides a reminder of the breadth of the historical debates that have shaped congressional oversight of financial institutions and markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83999/
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
The Administration's FY2012 budget would zero-out certain national activities related to Community Service Block Grant (CSBG), including Rural Community Facilities and Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals (JOLI). The budget requests $20 million for Community Economic Development (down from the FY2010 level of $36 million but more than the final FY2011 level of $18 million), and would target these funds toward the multiagency Healthy Food Financing Initiative. The Administration would fund Individual Development Accounts (IDAs, also known as Assets for Independence) at $24 million in FY2012, which is the same level as in FY2010 and FY2011. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84049/
Multilateral Development Banks: General Capital Increases
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration has requested and how much Congress has 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98966/
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/
Multilateral Development Banks: How the United States Makes and Implements Policy
This report analyzes how the United States makes policy towards the multilateral development banks (MDBs) and identifies ways by which Congress can shape U.S. policy and influence the activities of the banks themselves. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103114/
Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities
This report analyzes the extent of foreign portfolio investment in the U.S. economy and assesses the economic conditions that are attracting such investment and the impact such investments are having on the economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103172/
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
The U.S. merchandise trade deficit is a part of the overall U.S. balance of payments, a summary statement of all economic transactions between the residents of the United States and the rest of the world, during a given period of time. Some Members of Congress and other observers have grown concerned over the magnitude of the U.S. merchandise trade deficit and the associated increase in U.S. dollar-denominated assets owned by foreigners. 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/metadc33053/
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/
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/
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2011
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration has requested and how much Congress has 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33086/
Multilateral Development Banks: General Capital Increases
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration has requested and how much Congress has 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103141/
Limiting Central Government Budget Deficits: International Experiences
This report focuses on how major developed and emerging-market country governments, particularly the G-20 and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, limit their fiscal deficits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103083/
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2011
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration has requested and how much Congress has 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122333/
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/metadc99127/
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/
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/
Financial Stability Oversight Council: A Framework to Mitigate Systemic Risk
This report describes the mission, membership, and scope of the FSOC. It provides an analysis of several major policy issues related to the FSOC that may come before the 112th Congress. This report is intended to be used as a reference by congressional staff working on financial issues. The macroeconomic policy rationales for various financial crisis-related issues are summarized, and a glossary is provided to assist in understanding technical terms. This report is not intended to be read from cover to cover, but instead may be more useful as issues related to the FSOC arise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84000/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
This report covers the recent background of the Exon-Florio provision with special regards to issues faced in the 112th Congress. The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of “persons engaged in interstate commerce in the United States” that threaten to impair the national security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99092/
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report covers the background and recent history on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). This committee has recently emerged from obscurity due to concerns involving foreign investments in U.S. companies and national security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99094/
Foreign Investment, CFIUS, and Homeland Security: An Overview
This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress’s oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99132/
Foreign Investment and National Security: Economic Considerations
This report assesses recent international developments as the leaders from a number of nations work to reach a consensus on an informal set of best practices regarding national restrictions on foreign investment for national security purposes. This report also provides one possible approach for assessing the costs and benefits involved in using national policies to direct or to restrict foreign direct investment for national security reasons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33071/
Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals
The United States and the other 153 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been engaged in a set or "round" of negotiations called the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) since December 2001. The DDA's main objective is to refine and expand the rules by which WTO members conduct foreign trade with one another. This report is designed to assist the 112th Congress to understand and monitor progress of the negotiations and the major issues that the negotiators are addressing. The report provides a brief background section on the significance of services to the U.S. economy. It then explains briefly the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the structure and agenda of the services negotiations in the DDA round, including U.S. objectives in the negotiations. The report concludes with a status report on the negotiations and an examination of potential results. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33048/
International Climate Change Financing: Needs, Sources, and Delivery Methods
This report discusses the domestic and international efforts to increase foreign assistance to address climate change. Proponents maintain that such assistance could help promote low-emissions and high-growth economic development in lower-income countries, while simultaneously protecting the more vulnerable countries from the effects of a changing climate. The fundamental dispute concerning international financing for climate change centers upon who should pay for it and how. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40169/
The Economic Implications of the Long-Term Federal Budget Outlook
Report that analyzes the long-run path of the federal budget in the face of a projected demographic shift as aging baby boomers retire, coupled with the 2007 financial crises. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228007/
VA-Home Loan Guaranty Program: An Overview
Report containing a summary of the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228091/
The Future of the Eurozone and U.S. Interests
Seventeen of the European Union's 27 member states share an economic and monetary union (EMU) with the euro as a single currency. These countries are effectively referred to as the Eurozone. What has become known as the Eurozone crisis began in early 2010 when financial markets were shaken by heightened concerns that the fiscal positions of a number of Eurozone countries, beginning with Greece, were unsustainable. This report provides background information and analysis on the future of the Eurozone in six parts, including discussions on the origins and design challenges of the Eurozone, proposals to define the Eurozone crisis, possible scenarios for the future of the Eurozone, and the implications of the Eurozone crisis for U.S. economic and political interests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31475/
NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues
This report discusses North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) burdensharing--the funding, via individual contributions from NATO member states, of certain commonly conducted activities. The report discusses how each NATO member state's contribution is negotiated, and how member states are reconsidering their defense budgets (and, thereby, their willingness and ability to contribute to NATO operations) in light of the global financial crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33032/
France: Factors Shaping Foreign Policy, and Issues in U.S.-French Relations
This report examines the key factors that shape French foreign policy. From that context, it analyzes some of the reasons for the tensions in and the accomplishments of U.S.-French relations. The report is illustrative, rather than exhaustive. Instead, the report reviews issues selected because they exemplify some of the essential features of the U.S.-French relationship. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98055/
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