Congressional Research Service Reports - 773 Matching Results

Search Results

Primer on Energy Derivatives and Their Regulation
Prices of oil and other energy commodities are set in futures and derivatives markets, where producers, commercial users, and financial speculators buy and sell contracts whose value is linked to the price of the underlying commodity. Trading occurs on regulated futures exchanges and in a largely unregulated over-the-counter (OTC) market; both forms of trading are global in scope. This report presents basic information about these markets, the instruments traded, the regulatory framework, speculation, and current legislative proposals.
The Quasi Government: Hybrid Organizations with Both Government and Private Sector Legal Characteristics
No Description Available.
Accounting Problems at Fannie Mae
On September 22, 2004, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Supervision (OFHEO) made public a report that was highly critical of accounting methods at Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise that plays a leading role in the secondary mortgage market. OFHEO charged Fannie Mae with not following generally accepted accounting practices in two critical areas: (1) amortization of discounts, premiums, and fees involved in the purchase of home mortgages and (2) accounting for financial derivatives contracts. According to OFHEO, these deviations from standard accounting rules allowed Fannie Mae to reduce volatility in reported earnings, present investors with an artificial picture of steadily growing profits, and, in at least one case, to meet financial performance targets that triggered the payment of bonuses to company executives. On November 15, 2004, Fannie Mae reported that it was unable to file a third-quarter earnings statement because its auditor, KPMG, refused to sign off on the accounting results. On December 15, 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), after finding inadequacies in Fannie’s accounting policies and methodologies, directed Fannie Mae to restate its accounting results since 2001. Shortly thereafter, the company’s CEO and CFO resigned. It is estimated that earnings since 2001 will be revised downwards by as much as $12 billion, but the formal restatement of earnings is not expected before late 2006.
Constitutionality of Requiring Sexually Explicit Material on the Internet to be Under a Separate Domain Name
It is unclear whether making a “.xxx” domain mandatory would violate the First Amendment. Some propose making use of a “.xxx” domain voluntary, but others propose that Congress make it mandatory. The latter proposal raises the question whether a mandatory separate domain would violate the First Amendment, and this report focuses on that question.
Online Privacy Protection: Issues and Developments
No Description Available.
Online Privacy Protection: Issues and Developments
No Description Available.
Financial Market Turmoil and U.S. Macreconomic Performance
This report looks at causes of the 2008 financial crisis and ways that government policy can help to fix it.
Financial Regulatory Reform: Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as Proposed by the Obama Administration and H.R. 3126
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.
Job Growth During the Recovery
Congress in recent years passed a number of bills intended in part to jump-start a recovery in the labor market from the recession that began in December 2007. Policymakers are interested in how employment has responded to stimulus measures to determine how effective the legislation has been and to decide whether additional job creation legislation is warranted. This report discusses this topic in brief.
Job Growth During the Recovery
This report analyzes employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from December 2007 to September 2012, including characteristics of job loss and gain within several industries.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program: An Overview
Report that provides a brief overview of The Hollings Manufacturing Partnership (MEP), a program of regional centers set up to assist small and medium-sized manufacturing companies using knowledge and technologies developed under the auspices of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The Labor Market during the Great Depression and the Current Recession
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.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Executive Compensation
This report discusses the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173), which was implemented as part of financial regulatory reform initiatives undertaken by Congress in light of the recent global economic crisis. The legislation focuses on executive compensation.
Contract Types: An Overview of the Legal Requirements and Issues
This report provides an overview of the various contract types (e.g., fixed-price, cost-reimbursement) used in federal procurement and the legal requirements and issues pertaining to each. Current congressional and public interest in contract types is, in part, an outgrowth of the reported increase in the use of cost-reimbursement contracts during the George W. Bush Administration1 and the Obama Administration's proposal to reduce by at least 10% the funds obligated in FY2010 by "high risk-contracting authorities," such as cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, and labor-hour contracts.
Biomass Feedstocks for Biopower: Background and Selected Issues
The production of bioenergy - renewable energy derived from biomass - could potentially increase national energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to rural economic growth. This report provides analyses of commonly discussed biomass feedstocks and their relative potential for power generation. Additional biopower issues - feedstock accessibility, the biomass power plant carbon-neutrality debate, and unintended consequences of legislative activities to promote bioenergy - are also discussed.
Debarment and Suspension of Government Contractors: An Overview of the Law Including Recently Enacted and Proposed Amendments
The amount spent on government contracts, coupled with widely reported contractors misconduct, has generated congressional interest in debarment and suspension. The 110th Congress enacted several bills addressing debarment and suspension, including the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act, and several others, all of which are detailed in this report.
Debarment and Suspension of Government Contractors: An Overview of the Law Including Recently Enacted and Proposed Amendments
This report examines the statues that permit the disbarring and suspension of government contractors, exclusions to those statutes, and the rights of the contractors.
Economic Growth and the Unemployment Rate
Issues concerning and which can be influenced by Congress regarding unemployment rates.
Reform of U.S. International Taxation: Alternatives
This report describes and assesses the principal prescriptions that have been offered for broad reform of the international system. It begins with an overview of current law and possible revisions. It then sets the framework for considering economic efficiency as well as tax shelter activities. Finally, it reviews alternative approaches to revision in light of those issues.
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of actions taken by Congress to provide FY2011 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS). It also provides an overview of FY2010 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded under the CJS bill.
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2010 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of actions taken by Congress to provide FY2011 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS). It also provides an overview of FY2010 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded under the CJS bill.
Financial Regulatory Reform: Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as Proposed by the Obama Administration and H.R. 3126
This report provides a brief summary of the President's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 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.
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers
This report provides background on the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA) program. After a brief introduction, it discusses TAA eligibility and benefits as set by TAAEA. It then describes how the program is funded and administered. The report concludes by presenting data on recent application activity and benefit usage.
Federal Land Management Agencies: Background on Land and Resources Management
This report provides an overview of how federal lands and resources are managed, the agencies that manage the lands, the authorities under which these lands are managed, and some of the issues associated with federal land management. The report is divided into nine sections.
Business Tax Issues in 2009
This report discusses the tax climate for businesses, while economic stimulus proposals dominate the congressional debate. During 2009, it is anticipated that congressional deliberations will once again turn towards the extension of several expiring business tax provisions, energy taxation, tax shelters, and international taxation, while continuing to examine opportunities to stimulate the economy.
Federal Regulatory Structure for Egg Safety: Fact Sheet
This report discusses the federal role in regulating egg safety. Although the egg industry is primarily responsible for ensuring the safety of its products, four federal agencies hold statutory responsibilities for egg safety.
U.S. Government Agencies Involved in Export Promotion: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the federal agencies that participate in U.S. export promotion efforts and the issues that they raise for Congress. It proceeds first by discussing the coordination, budgets, and functions of federal government agencies involved in promoting exports. Next, the report provides an overview of the missions and activities of key federal government agencies that support exports. The last section of the report discusses agency-related issues for Congress.
The Proposed AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Would It Create a Virtuous Cycle or a Vicious Cycle?
This report discusses the pros and cons of a proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. The largest con would be that the merged company would have over 70% of the cell phone market share. The largest pro would be that a merged company would be able to provide better service to its customers. The report also gives a brief overview of the mobile phone industry as a whole.
Debarment and Suspension of Government Contractors: An Overview of the Law Including Recently Enacted and Proposed Amendments
This report examines the statues that permit the disbarring and suspension of government contractors, exclusions to those statutes, and the rights of the contractors.
The Global Financial Crisis: Lessons from Japan's Lost Decade of the 1990s
This report reviews the major actions by the Japanese government in dealing with its financial crisis and highlights some of the lessons learned from their experience in the 1990s.
Plant Closings, Mass Layoffs, and Worker Dislocations: Data Issues
For at least 15 years Members of Congress have continued to ask: How many U.S. manufacturing plants have closed? For at least 15 years they have continued to ask: How many U.S. manufacturing plants have relocated abroad, and where have they gone? For at least 15 years the answer has been: For the most part, those questions can't be answered, based on Government data. How many plants are moving to Mexico? What industries and what States are the plants from? How many U.S. workers are losing their jobs as a result? It appears that still, after two legislative attempts to mandate collection of these data, the Government publishes no counts of U.S. plant closings, and almost no information on plant relocations. Options for strengthening the data systems include addressing three main weaknesses: inadequate data program design, a plant closing definition that misses its mark, and publication of partial instead of complete survey results.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Insurance Regulation and Competition: Background and Issues
No Description Available.
Insurance Regulation and Competition: Background and Issues
No Description Available.
Insurance Regulation: Background and Issues
No Description Available.
Insurance Regulation: Background and Issues
No Description Available.
Insurance Regulation: Background and Issues
No Description Available.