Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Industrial Loan Companies/Banks and the Separation of Banking and Commerce: Legislative and Regulatory Perspectives
Industrial Loan Companies (ILCs), are state-chartered and state-regulated depository institutions whose deposits the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) may insure. This report addresses the controversy over expansion of ILCs by line of business and by branching across the nation as follows, providing: (1) a historical overview of the U.S. separation of banking and commerce; (2) information on ILCs and their regulation; and (3) identifying and analyzing relevant legislation in Congress.
Reintroduction of the 30-Year Treasury Bond: An Economic Analysis
This report discusses the reintroduction of the 30-year bond that could reduce government borrowing costs.
Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues
The federal government has a long history of providing credit assistance to farmers by issuing direct loans and guarantees, and creating rural lending institutions. These institutions include the Farm Credit System (FCS), which is a network of borrower-owned lending institutions operating as a government-sponsored enterprise, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which makes or guarantees loans to farmers who cannot qualify at other lenders. When loans cannot be repaid, special bankruptcy provisions help family farmers reorganize debts and continue farming (P.L. 109-8 made Chapter 12 permanent and expanded eligibility). S. 238 and H.R. 399 (the Rural Economic Investment Act) would exempt commercial banks from paying taxes on profits from farm real estate loans, thus providing similar benefits as to the Farm Credit System.
Credit Card Minimum Payments
Recently, credit card issuers began adjusting their minimum payment formulas, raising the amount of the required monthly payment. Congress has focused on the need to increase consumer awareness of the financial jeopardy that can result from paying only the required minimum. This report provides an overview of the issues and congressional action. It will be updated as events warrant.
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues
No Description Available.
Social Security, Saving, and the Economy
This report examines the determinants of household saving, how household saving may be affected by Social Security, and the potential effects of possible changes in Social Security.
Investing Social Security Funds in the Stock Market: Some Economic Considerations
No Description Available.
Farm Credit System
This report discusses the Farm Credit System (FCS) is a nationwide financial cooperative that lends to agricultural producers, rural homeowners, certain agriculture-related businesses, and agricultural, aquatic, and public utility cooperatives. Established by the Federal Farm Loan Act in 1916 as a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE), it has a statutory mandate to serve agriculture and related enterprises.
Campaign Finance
This report discusses campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today's paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition.
Bankruptcy Relief and Natural Disaster Victims
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many have questioned whether implementing the new procedures of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), P.L. 109-8, scheduled to go into effect on October 17, 2005, should be delayed. This report considers whether bankruptcy law in general, and the BAPCPA in particular, may present unique challenges to financial recovery for those whose life, livelihood, and/or home have been damaged or destroyed.
Credit Rating Agencies: Current Federal Oversight and Congressional Concerns
Credit rating agencies rate the creditworthiness of public companies so that the public will have an objective opinion as to the risk of investment. These ratings have become an important component of the financial reputation of a rated company. However, especially since the bankruptcies of Enron and WorldCom, whose debt had been rated investment grade, there has been concern that perhaps credit rating agencies should be regulated.
Stock Options: The Accounting Issue and Its Consequences
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued a long-anticipated rule that stock options must be recognized as an expense on corporation income statements. The previous accounting rule permitted but did not require recognition; corporations that elected to omit the cost of options, as most did, have been able to report higher earnings. This report examines the debate surrounding the issue and discusses the potential consequences.
Social Security Reform
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Social Security Reform
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Social Security Reform
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Social Security Reform
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Social Security Reform
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Social Security Reform
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Social Security Reform
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Social Security: The Trust Fund
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Hurricanes and Disaster Risk Financing Through Insurance: Challenges and Policy Options
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Tsunamis and Earthquakes: Is Federal Disaster Insurance in Our Future?
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Social Security Reform: Economic Issues
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Federal Deposit and Share Insurance: Proposals for Change
No Description Available.
Bank and Thrift Deposit Insurance Premiums: The Record from 1934-2004
Since federal deposit insurance first came into being in the mid-1930s, commercial banks and savings associations (thrifts) have paid premiums into government insurance reserves to cover losses due to financial institution failures. Banks and thrifts have come to offer similar services and the government has standardized insurance premiums for the two institutions to reflect their competition. Deposit insurance premiums have been the subject of legislation several times over recent years including measures passed by the House. Most banks and thrifts pay essentially no premiums, but the potential for future assessments continues to drive “reform” legislation. This report provides the rationale and amounts of assessments since federal deposit insurance began and will be updated annually.
Affiliates in Banking, Finance, and Commerce: Development and Regulatory Background
The proliferation of corporate affiliates in banking, finance, and commerce has figured in discussion of several policy issues, including how to protect against (1) losses incurred by affiliated companies; (2) anticompetitive “tying” of bank and nonbank financial services; and (3) misuse of financial data of consumers. This report outlines the nature and evolution of affiliates, primarily from a regulatory perspective. It provides background for discussing financial issues involving corporate affiliates.
Multilateral Development Banks: Procedures for U.S. Participation
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Multilateral Development Banks: Current Authorization Requests
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Social Security: Summary of Program Solvency and Projections
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Hurricane Katrina: Insurance Losses and National Capacities for Financing Disaster Risk
This report discusses losses and national disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina that made landfall on the Gulf of Mexico coast with high velocity winds, storm surge, heavy rain, flooding, coastal erosion, hail, and tornadoes.
Mutual Fund Reform Bills in the 108th Congress: A Side-by-Side Comparison
This report compares the provisions of these legislative proposals. It serves as an historical record of legislative activity in the 108th Congress.
Treatment of Health Care Expenses under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act
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The World Bank: Changing Leadership and Issues for the United States and Congress
The decision of World Bank President James Wolfensohn to resign in May 2005 has triggered the search for a successor. This report discusses the process for choosing a successor and the implications for U.S. policy.
Terrorist Financing: U.S. Agency Efforts and Inter-Agency Coordination
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China and the CNOOC Bid for Unocal: Issues for Congress
The bid by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to acquire the U.S. energy company Unocal for $18.5 billion raised many issues with U.S. policymakers. This report provides an overview and analysis of the CNOOC bid, U.S. interests, implications for U.S. energy security, U.S. investment in the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China’s) oil industry, the process for reviewing the security and other implications of foreign investment in the United States, Congressional activity, and a listing of unresolved issues.
Fundamental Tax Reform: Options for the Mortgage Interest Deduction
No Description Available.
Federal Flood Insurance: The Repetitive Loss Problem
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Interest Payments on the Federal Debt: A Primer
No Description Available.
Campaign Financing
This is one report in the series of reports that discuss the campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today’s paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition.
Regulation of Naked Short Selling
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Structure and Functions of the Federal Reserve System
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The Economic Effects of Raising National Saving
Raising the share of income we save is a frequent aim of public policy. That may be particularly apparent in debates about the size of the federal budget deficit, but concerns about the low household saving rate have also prompted policymakers to consider ways to encourage individuals to save more. How much individuals save will directly affect their future economic well-being, but from a macroeconomic perspective, the source of saving — be it households, business, or government — makes no difference. This report presents standard economic analysis of the macroeconomic effects of raising saving.
Should Credit Unions Be Taxed?
No Description Available.
Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Legislation (Including Budgetary Implications)
This report discusses two major deposit insurance reform bills that are currently before Congress, the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act of 2005 and the Safe and Fair Deposit Insurance Act of 2005. Both bills, if passed, would effectively raise assessments paid by banks and savings associations to the deposit insurance fund.
Campaign Finance
Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, long centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. This report discusses campaign finance practices, enduring issues and today’s paramount issues. In addition it presents the Legislative Action in the 108th and 109th Congress, as well as the Congressional efforts to close perceived loopholes in Federal Election Law.
Campaign Finance
Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, long centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. This report discusses campaign finance practices, enduring issues and today’s paramount issues. In addition it presents the Legislative Action in the 108th and 109th Congress, as well as the Congressional efforts to close perceived loopholes in Federal Election Law.
Campaign Finance
Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, long centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. This report discusses campaign finance practices, enduring issues and today’s paramount issues. In addition it presents the Legislative Action in the 108th and 109th Congress, as well as the Congressional efforts to close perceived loopholes in Federal Election Law.
Campaign Finance
Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, long centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. This report discusses campaign finance practices, enduring issues and today’s paramount issues. In addition it presents the Legislative Action in the 108th and 109th Congress, as well as the Congressional efforts to close perceived loopholes in Federal Election Law.
Campaign Financing
This is one report in the series of reports that discuss the campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today’s paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition.
Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis
No Description Available.