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Forest Roads: Construction and Financing
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China's "Hot Money" Problems
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.
Iraq Reconstruction Resources: Fact Sheet
This fact sheet provides Internet links to the federal agencies or departments currently involved in the contracting process, along with their specific Iraq reconstruction programs underway or proposed. It provides overview information on federal agency contract solicitations, application procedures, and contact information where appropriate.
Finance and Adjustment: The International Debt Crisis, 1982-84
This report provides an overview of the international debt problem which has significantly disturbed the international economic environment of the 1980s. It describes the characteristics of the less developed country (LDC) debt and discusses the role of major participants in the debt crisis. The study shows how the role of the participants has evolved during the crisis. Lastly, some of the issues arising from the debt crisis are discussed.
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's.
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's.
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's.
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's.
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.
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's.
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.
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's.
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's.
HUD Proposes Administrative Modifications to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
This report focuses on borrower disclosure, particularly with respect to making all pertinent information about loan terms and settlement costs transparent, so that consumers can make well-informed financial decisions when choosing mortgage products.
Reporting Issues Under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
This report describes current issues and recent changes to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) of 1975. The report also provides a brief explanation of how recent reporting revisions may affect the reporting of loans covered by the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 and the Federal Housing Administration.
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.
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.
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?
This report looks at ways to overhaul the Social Security system due to a projected lack of system funds, which are estimated to become exhausted in 2041.
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).
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.
Ability to Repay, Risk-Retention Standards, and Mortgage Credit Access
This report examines the developments associated with the implementation of mortgage lending reforms. The report begins with a summary of proposed ability to repay and risk-retention standards. Next, the report describes risky underwriting and financing practices that occurred prior to the mortgage crisis, followed by a discussion of how access to mortgage credit might be affected.
Overview of the Securities Act of 1933 as Applied to Private Label Mortgage-Backed Securities
This report will provide an overview of the Securities Act of 1933 as it may be applied to mortgage-backed securities issued by private industry participants.
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 Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which makes or guarantees loans to farmers who cannot qualify at other lenders, and the Farm Credit System (FCS), which is a network of borrower-owned lending institutions operating as a government-sponsored enterprise. This report discusses legislation regarding this credit assistance expected in the the 110th Congress. Appropriators will consider funding for FSA’s farm loan programs, and the agriculture committees may consider changes to FSA and FCS lending programs. The 2007 farm bill is expected to be the venue for many of the authorizing issues, although stand-alone legislation may be used for extensive reforms.
Small Business Administration Microloan Program
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Microloan program provides direct loans to qualified nonprofit intermediary lenders who, in turn, provide “microloans” of up to $50,000 to small businesses and nonprofit child care centers. It also provides marketing, management, and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and potential borrowers. This report opens with a discussion of the rationale provided for having a Microloan program, describes the program’s eligibility standards and operating requirements for lenders and borrowers, and examines the arguments presented by the program’s critics and advocates. It then discusses P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which increased the Microloan program’s loan limit for borrowers from $35,000 to $50,000, and the aggregate loan limit for intermediaries after their first year of participation in the program from $3.5 million to $5 million.
Taxation of Hedge Fund and Private Equity Managers
This report provides background on hedge funds and private equity and summarizes the tax issues.
Credit Rating Agency Regulatory Reform: A Side-by-Side Comparison of H.R. 2990 and S. 3850
This report provides a side-by-side comparison of the H.R. 2990 and S. 3850 bills’ major provisions.
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.
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.
Small Business Administration Microloan Program
This report describes the Microloan program's eligibility standards and operating requirements for lenders and borrowers and examines the arguments presented by the program's critics and advocates. It also examines changes to the program authorized by P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
Budgetary Treatment of Federal Credit (Direct Loans and Loan Guarantees): Concepts, History, and Issues for Congress
The purpose of this report is to explain the provisions of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 or FCRA; examine the implementation of credit reform, including credit reform provisions of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105- 33, §1011; 111 Stat. 254,692); discuss proposed modifications of credit reform; and describe proposed legislation in the 113th 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.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): Efforts to Support Financial and Housing Markets
This report discusses recent actions taken by the FDIC in support of financial and housing markets, which include restoration of the Deposit Insurance Fund, the development of the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, efforts to reduce foreclosures, and establishment of the proposed Public-Private Investment Fund. Legislation such as H.R. 786 (introduced by Representative Barney Frank); H.R. 1106, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 (introduced by Representative John Conyers, Jr., with 24 co-sponsors); and S. 541, The Depositor Protection Act of 2009 (introduced by Senator Christopher Dodd with 12 co-sponsors) have also been introduced to increase the effectiveness of the FDIC’s efforts to respond to recent market weaknesses.
Why is the Household Saving Rate So Low?
This report begins by showing how much the household saving rate has declined in recent years. Next, it explains how household saving is measured, and provides some detail on how saving varies across the income distribution. Finally, it discusses factors that may account for the decline in household saving, as well as how much of a policy concern the decline in household saving may be.
Predatory Lending: Background on the Issue and Overview of Legislation in the 106th Congress
This report presents an overview of the predatory lending issue, a summary of present law, a summary of joint HUD and Treasury recommendations to address the issue, and a side-by-side summary of five bills introduced in the 106th Congress that addressed the issue. Though no action occurred on these bills, the issue is expected to continue in the 107th Congress.
One Million Personal Bankruptcies a Year: Economic Implications and Policy Options
This report examines various explanations for the rapid rise in personal bankruptcy filings in the United States since 1980, the economic significance of the phenomenon, and policy options. This discussion and analysis provide a background for consideration of legislation before the 105th Congress ( H.R. 3150 and S. 1301), which proposes to reform the consumer bankruptcy process.
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.
Comparison of the Bankruptcy Reform Act, H.R. 833, 106th Congress, Passed by the House and the Senate
This report surveys the legislation’s legislative history. It provides a brief narrative and side-by-side comparison of selected provisions in the House and Senate bills, with an emphasis on consumer bankruptcy.
Housing Issues in the 110th Congress
This report examines housing-related issues that have become prominent in the 110th Congress. Possibly the most visible issue is the prevalence of subprime loans and growing mortgage default and foreclosure rates. Congress has responded with numerous hearings and legislative proposals both to change the way in which the lending and home-buying industry is regulated and to assist borrowers who are facing default and foreclosure.
Federal Credit Reform: Implementation Of the Changed Budgetary Treatment of Direct Loans and Loan Guarantees
This report explains the provisions of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (FCRA), examine the implementation of credit reform including credit reform provisions of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA97), and discusses proposed modifications of credit reform. In order to achieve these objectives, it is necessary to initially discuss justifications for credit programs, federal credit concepts, and the budgetary treatment of federal credit before the FCRA.
Understanding Mortgage Foreclosure: Recent Events, the Process, and Costs
This report provides a general analysis and overview of current foreclosure issues addressed in the bills cited above. It begins with a description of the behavior of aggregate foreclosure rates. The behaviors of foreclosure rates are placed in the context of activity in the housing and mortgage market to illustrate any relationships. The foreclosure process is then explained, first from the point of view of a traditional financial lending institution, and then from the viewpoint of securitization when loans are sold in secondary markets. Finally, this report collects information from other studies to obtain an estimate of the average foreclosure costs. A brief discussion of the effect uniform foreclosure legislation may have on costs follows.
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.
Tax Gap: Proposals in the 110th Congress to Require Brokers to Report Basis on Publicly Traded Securities
Recent and projected large deficits and the need for revenue to offset spending or tax reduction proposals generated congressional and executive branch interest in different proposals to reduce the tax gap; and consequently, raise additional revenue. Proposals in the 110th Congress to require brokers to report adjusted basis on publicly traded securities sold by individuals are examined in this report.
Export-Import Bank: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently-asked questions about the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization.
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.
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.
Reduce, Refinance, and Rent? The Economic Incentives, Risks, and Ramifications of Housing Market Policy Options
This report discusses the background of financial panic in September 2008, precipitated by the housing bubble of 2006. In particular, the report looks at options that the 112th Congress has regarding the housing market: (1) reducing mortgage principal for borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth, (2) refinancing mortgages for borrowers shut out of traditional financing methods, and (3) renting out foreclosed homes.
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.
Banking Policy Issues in the 115th Congress
This report provides a broad overview of selected banking-related issues, including prudential regulation, consumer protection, "too big to fail" (TBTF) banks, community banking, regulatory agency structures and independence, and recent market and economic trends. It is not an exhaustive look at all bank policy issues, nor is it a detailed examination of any one issue. Rather, it provides concise background and analyses of certain prominent issues that have been the subject of recent discussion and debate. In addition, this report provides a list of Congressional Research Service reports that examine specific bills, including the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) and bills proposing to provide regulatory relief for banks.
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.
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. This report discusses the Bank's budget and related legislation, including the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, signed by President Barack Obama and authorizing spending limitations for the Bank.