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How Treasury Issues Debt
This report examines Treasury's debt management practices, focusing on the auction process, how prices and interest rates of securities are determined, and the role of market participants in the process. It also addresses the role of debt plays in influencing present and future budget outcomes.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
This report discusses China's proposal of creating a new multilateral development bank (MDB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with the purpose to provide financing for infrastructure needs throughout Asia, as well as in neighboring regions.
The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA; H.R. 5278, S. 2328)
The report presents a brief description of Puerto Rico, its relationship with the federal government, and its fiscal challenges. The body of the report provides a section-by-section description of H.R. 5278, including a short overview of the bill, along with a comparison with previous legislation involving control boards.
Ex-Im Bank: No Quorum, No Problem?
This report discusses the operation on a limited basis of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) despite a renewal of its general statutory charter through FY2019 (P.L. 114-94,
Federal Advisory Committees: An Introduction and Overview
This report offers a history of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), examines its current requirements, and provides data on federal advisory committees' operations and costs.
Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) FY2017 Appropriations: Overview
This report discusses the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill, which includes funding for the Department of the Treasury (Title I), the Executive Office of the President (EOP, Title II), the judiciary (Title III), the District of Columbia (Title IV), and more than two dozen independent agencies (Title V). The bill typically funds mandatory retirement accounts in Title VI, which also contains additional general provisions applying to the funding provided agencies through the FSGG bill. Title VII contains general provisions applying government-wide. The FSGG bills have often also contained provisions relating to U.S. policy toward Cuba.
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits
This report discusses the calculations that go into taxing Social Security benefits, which prior to 1984 were exempt from taxation but have since been taxed at gradually increasing levels.
Tolling U.S. Highways
This report provides a brief history of tolling on federal roads and relevant current law. It also discusses financial realities on toll roads and tolling policy issues.
Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation
This report begins with a discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system (which supports both federal highway and public transportation programs) and then explores possible options for financing surface transportation infrastructure.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission: Proposed Reauthorization in the 114th Congress
This report provides information about the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which regulates futures, most options, and swaps markets. It includes background information, a description of the CFTC reauthorization process, and more extensive explanations of selected provisions in H.R. 2289 and S. 2917 that were recently reauthorized or changed.
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.
The 2016 G-20 Summit
This report discusses the 2016 G-20 summit where the leaders of the Group of Twenty (G-20) countries met in Hangzhou, China.
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the campaign finance landscape and policy issues that may confront Congress. It includes information about the development of campaign finance law with selected litigation as well as potential policy considerations and emerging issues.
Overview of Commercial (Depository) Banking and Industry Conditions
This report begins with a general overview of the banking industry. It describes how banks facilitate the financial intermediation process as well as the associated financial risks. It also explains the market structure of the banking industry, referring primarily to the asset distribution. Next, this report summarizes profitability and lending activity levels in the banking industry. Particular attention is paid to metrics related to capitalization levels, asset performance, and earnings of depository banks.
Federal Reserve: Oversight and Disclosure Issues
This report provides an overview of existing Federal Reserve (Fed) oversight and disclosure practices, highlighting recent legislative changes and proposals. It also considers the potential impact of greater oversight and disclosure on the Fed's independence and its ability to achieve its macroeconomic and financial stability goals.
Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues
This report begins with a brief discussion of relevant portions of the U.S. corporate income tax system before examining how inversions were commonly structured. It then looks at how Congress and the Department of the Treasury have reduced the benefits of inversions, and concludes with an examination of methods that remain to invert and policy options available to prevent or limit these inversions.
Campaign Financing
This report discusses various issues regarding campaign finance law and potential options for policy responses.
Military Lending Act: Timeline, New Rules, and Issues
This report briefly discusses new rules under the Military Lending Act (MLA) that change the definition of consumer credit for covered servicemembers and dependents; it will apply to transactions or accounts that are established on or after October 3, 2016. These rules may have an impact on the regulatory burdens for businesses that provide credit products to the military and may also affect military readiness.
FHFA's Administrative Reform of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Housing Finance System
This report discusses housing finance reform and structural changes enacted by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), particularly in relation to government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). It includes sections on GSEs and conservatorship; FHFA reforms broken down into information about risk-sharing transactions, a common securitization platform, and single security; and Congressional action on GSE reform.
Social Security Reform
This report examines the debate over the future of the Social Security system. It includes discussion of recent developments; background and analysis with information about the basic debate, specific area of contention, reform initiatives; and relevant legislation.
Federal Reserve: Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report analyzes provisions and the policy debate surrounding a number of bills that would affect the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) monetary policy, lender of last resort, and regulatory responsibilities. The Fed's responsibilities as the nation's central bank fall into four main categories: monetary policy, provision of emergency liquidity through the lender of last resort function, supervision of certain types of banks and other financial firms for safety and soundness, and provision of payment system services to financial firms and the government.
Treasury Issues White Paper on Fintech and Marketplace Lending
This report briefly discusses the context and contents of a white paper issued on May 10, 2016 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The paper analyzes regulatory issues for the marketplace lending industry and offers several recommendations for industry and government responses.
Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) FY2017 Appropriations: Overview
This report discusses the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill, which includes funding for the Department of the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the judiciary, the District of Columbia, and more than two dozen independent agencies.
FinCEN Seeks Shell-Company Transparency
This legal sidebar discusses the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN) rules outlining anti-money laundering due diligence requirements. These rules require certain financial institutions to identify and verify beneficial owners of legal entity customers.
U.S.-EU Data Privacy: From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield
This report describes the financial harm caused by data breaches, explains how those breaches are carried out, discusses resolved and remaining impediments to completing the EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) transition in the United States, and identifies areas of potential Congressional interest.
Negative Interest Rates
In a few foreign economies, including the euro area, Switzerland, and Japan, central banks have purposely set some short-term interest rates used to carry out monetary policy at negative levels. This report briefly discusses the reasons behind this phenomenon.
Derivatives, Risk Management, and Policy in the Energy Markets
This report provides a systematic guide to understanding the use of financial derivative contracts in the energy industry, focusing specifically on the petroleum and natural gas sectors.
China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues
This report summarizes the main findings of CRS Report RL32165, China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy.
National Flood Insurance Program: Treasury Borrowing in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
This report discusses the the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which has been financially overwhelmed by claims and expenses related to the massive flooding caused by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.
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.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report discusses the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) comprising nine members, two ex officio members, and other members as appointed by the President representing major departments and agencies within the federal executive branch. While the group generally has operated in relative obscurity, the proposed acquisition of commercial operations at six U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World in 2006 placed the group's operations under intense scrutiny by Members of Congress and the public.
Federal Reserve: Oversight and Disclosure Issues
This report provides an overview of existing Federal Reserve (Fed) oversight and disclosure practices. It also considers the potential impact of greater oversight and disclosure on the Fed's independence and its ability to achieve its macroeconomic and financial stability goals.
"Regulatory Relief" for Banking: Selected Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses regulatory relief legislation for banks in the 114th Congress that has seen floor action or has been ordered to be reported by a committee. Many, but not all, of the bills would make changes to the Dodd-Frank Act (P.L. 111-203), a wide-ranging financial reform enacted in response to the financial crisis.
Federal Securities Law: Insider Trading
This report discusses various regulations regarding insider trading violations. Insider trading in securities may occur when a person in possession of material nonpublic information about a company trades in the company's securities and makes a profit or avoids a loss.
Social Security Reform: How Much of a Role Could Personal Retirement Accounts Play?
This report illustrates the potential accumulations of personal savings accounts intended for retirement savings, given a range of possible contribution amounts and interest rates. It is intended to provide information about how to evaluate the possible role of personal accounts in the debate on Social Security reform.
Federal Reserve: Emergency Lending
This report provides a review of the history of Section 13(3) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act; P.L. 111-203), including its use in 2008. It discusses the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) authority under Section 13(3) before and after the Dodd-Frank Act as well as policy issues and legislation to amend Section 13(3).
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.
China's Recent Stock Market Volatility: What Are the Implications?
This report briefly discusses the consequences of rapid price increases from about mid-2014 to mid-2015 in China's two main stock markets, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE).
Federal Reserve Issues Final Rule on Emergency Lending
This report briefly discusses major provisions of the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) Final Rule, governing emergency lending under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act and implementing Section 1101 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank).
The Government's Long-Term Fiscal Shortfall: How Much Is Attributable to Social Security?
This report discusses social security in the context of the federal budget. One rationale given for Social Security reform is the large long-term fiscal shortfall that Social Security is projected to face.
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.
Campaign Finance: Issues Before the U.S. Supreme Court in McConnell v. FEC
This report provides a summary of the issues presented by 12 groups of appellants in their jurisdictional statements in 2003. Shortly after the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155 (H.R. 2356, 107th Cong.) was enacted in March 2002 (also known as the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation), Senator Mitch McConnell and others filed suit in U.S. District Court for D.C. against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) arguing that provisions of the law are unconstitutional. Ultimately, eleven suits challenging BCRA were brought by more than 80 plaintiffs and consolidated into one lead case, McConnell v. FEC. On May 2, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued its decision in McConnell v. FEC, No. 02-CV-0582 striking down some key provisions of the law as unconstitutional, but on May 19, it issued a stay of its ruling, which leaves BCRA, as enacted, in effect until the Supreme Court issues a decision. (For information about the decision, see CRS Report RS21511, Campaign Finance: Brief Overview of McConnell v. FEC.) Under the BCRA expedited review provision, the court's decision will be reviewed directly by the U.S. Supreme Court, which scheduled oral argument for September 8, 2003.
China's Recent Stock Market Volatility: What Are the Implications?
This report briefly discusses the background and implications of the rapid price increases experienced in China's two main stock markets, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE), from about mid-2014 to mid-2015.
Federal Securities Law: Insider Trading
This report discusses various regulations regarding insider trading violations. Insider trading in securities may occur when a person in possession of material nonpublic information about a company trades in the company's securities and makes a profit or avoids a loss.
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the Export-Import Bank (Ex-In Bank), the chief U.S. government agency that helps finance American exports of manufactured goods and services with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers.
Risk Management and Critical Infrastructure Protection: Assessing, Integrating, and Managing Threats, Vulnerabilities and Consequences
This report is meant to support congressional oversight by discussing, in more detail, what this task entails and issues that need to be addressed. In particular, the report defines terms (e.g., threat, vulnerability, and risk), discusses how they fit together in a systematic analysis, describes processes and techniques that have been used to assess them, and discusses how the results of that analysis can inform resource allocation and policy.
Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns: Overview and Analysis
This report discusses current controversies and arguments for and against public financing of presidential campaigns; legislative history; elements of the program; taxpayer and candidate participation; financial status of the program; recent legislation; and analysis of various policy proposals. If Congress chooses to alter the program, consensus will be necessary in what has historically been a particularly complex and contentious area of campaign finance policy.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
This report discusses a new development bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), launched by China that is posing a challenge to U.S. policymakers.
Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Financial Problems
This report presents, in analytical question and answer form, the issues surrounding the financial conditions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are stockholder-owned government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). Their federal charters give the GSEs special public policy goals aimed at providing liquidity in the mortgage market and to provide access to homeownership for underserved groups and locations. In return, their charters give the GSEs a special relationship with the government.
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report is intended to provide an accessible overview of major policy issues facing Congress. Citations to other CRS products, which provide additional information, appear where relevant. The report discusses selected litigation to demonstrate how those events have changed the campaign finance landscape and affected the policy issues that may confront Congress, but it is not a constitutional or legal analysis. Finally, campaign finance data appear throughout the report.