Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Federal Reserve: Emergency Lending
This report provides a review of the history of Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 344), including its use in 2008. It discusses the Fed's authority under Section 13(3) before and after the Dodd-Frank Act. It then discusses policy issues and legislation to amend Section 13(3).
Small Business: Access to Capital and Job Creation
This report discusses the role of small business in job creation and retention, then provides an assessment of the supply and demand for small business loans and recently enacted laws designed to enhance small business access to capital. It also examines recent actions concerning the SBA's budget and concludes with a brief overview of legislative options available to address small business access to capital issues during the 114th Congress.
Legislation Eliminating the Federal Reserve's Surplus
The Fed retains some of its profits in a surplus account, which currently has a balance of $29.3 billion. This report discusses H.Amdt. 824 to the highway bill (H.R. 22) and H.R. 3189, which would permanently eliminate the surplus.
Puerto Rico and Health Care Finance: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Puerto Rico's health care system, including how federal health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program [CHIP]) and private health insurance requirements apply to Puerto Rico.
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2015
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress 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.
Designation of Global 'Too Big To Fail' Firms
This report provides background on the the Financial Stability Board's (FSB) designation process for systemically significant financial institutions, but takes no position on any potential benefits or shortcomings of that process.
China's Recent Stock Market Volatility: What Are the Implications?
China's two main stock markets, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE), experienced rapid price increases from about mid-2014 to mid-2015. However, from June 12 to July 7, 2015, the Shanghai and Shenzhen Composite Indices fell by 32% and 40%, respectively. This report briefly examines this volatility and the Chinese government's response.
"Regulatory Relief" for Banking: Selected Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses regulatory relief legislation for banks in the 114th Congress that, at the time this report was published, 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), wide ranging financial reform enacted in response to the financial crisis.
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.
Puerto Rico's Current Fiscal Challenges
This report discusses multiple challenges the government of Puerto Rico faces in the fall of 2015. Concerns regarding the sustainability of Puerto Rico's public finances have intensified over the past year, despite several measures taken by the island's government to reduce spending, increase revenues, and restructure its obligations. The Puerto Rican government outlined a medium-term strategy to address those challenges in a fiscal plan put forth in mid-September 2015.
Current Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides information on current debates over exchange rates in the global economy. It offers an overview of how exchange rates work; analyzes specific disagreements and debates; and examines existing frameworks for potentially addressing currency disputes. It also lays out some policy options available to Congress, should Members want to take action on exchange rate issues.
Election in Greece
This report discusses issues leading up to Greece's snap legislative election on September 20, only eight months after the country's last election. Greece continues to struggle with the negative repercussions of a sovereign debt and financial crisis that began in 2009.
The EMV Chip Card Transition: Background, Status, and Issues for Congress
This report describes the financial harm caused by data breaches and the impact of EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) chip cards on fraud. It provides information about the effect of the transition in selected foreign countries and discusses resolved and remaining impediments to completing the EMV transition in the United States. It also identifies areas of potential congressional interest.
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. It then discusses policy issues and legislation to amend Section 13(3).
Financial Services and General Government (FSGG): FY2015 Appropriations
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.
The Greek Debt Crisis: Overview and Implications for the United States
This report provides a brief overview of the Greek dept crisis, including developments through July 2015 when questions about Greece's future in the Eurozone resurfaced and emergency negotiations resulted in a third financial assistance program for Greece. It also discusses potential implications of the crisis for the U.S. economy and U.S.-European cooperation on broader strategic and economic cooperation.
Puerto Rico's Current Fiscal Challenges: In Brief
This report discusses the current state of Puerto Rico's public finances. Puerto Rico faces several fiscal hurdles in 2015. Concerns regarding the sustainability of Puerto Rico's public finances have intensified over the past year, despite several measures taken by the island's government to reduce spending, increase revenues, and restructure its obligations.
China's Currency Devaluation
This report discusses China's recent changes to its method for determining the value of its currency (the renminbi). On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the People's Bank of China (PBC), China's central bank, surprised global financial markets by lowering the reference rate of the renminbi, effectively depreciating the currency.
Multiemployer Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans: A Primer and Analysis of Policy Options
This report discusses the nature of multiemployer defined benefit (DB) pension plans, and issues regarding their financial solvency. DB pension plans are sponsored by more than one employer and maintained as part of a collective bargaining agreement.
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
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.
DRIVE Act Would Increase Highway Funding Faster than Projected Inflation
This report briefly discusses the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act (DRIVE Act; S. 1647). The DRIVE Act would authorize $278 billion for a six-year federal highway program.
Crisis in Greece: Political Implications
This report briefly discusses the political crisis resulting from what began as a debt crisis in Greece in late 2009. Many analysts believe that this political crisis could represent the most significant setback in over 60 years of European integration.
Crisis in Greece: Political Implications
This report discusses political and economic conditions in Greece. What began as a debt crisis in Greece in late 2009 has evolved into a political crisis that many analysts believe could represent the most significant setback in over 60 years of European integration.
Puerto Rico's Current Fiscal Challenges: In Brief
This report discusses the current state of Puerto Rico's public finances. Puerto Rico faces several fiscal hurdles in 2015. Concerns regarding the sustainability of Puerto Rico's public finances have intensified over the past year, despite several measures taken by the island's government to reduce spending, increase revenues, and restructure its obligations.
Economic Crisis in Greece
This report briefly discusses the current economic situation in Greece. Questions about whether Greece will stay in the Eurozone have resurfaced, as the government's stalemate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Eurozone creditors has reached a critical point.
U.S. Capital Markets and International Accounting Standards: GAAP Versus IFRS
This report briefly explains the different accounting standards and U.S. capital markets. It examines several International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) policy options Congress might consider and the benefits and challenges of each of those options.
Federal Securities Law: Insider Trading
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. This report discusses various regulations regarding insider trading violations.
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of monetary policy and recent developments. It discusses issues for Congress, including transparency and proposals to change the Fed's mandate, and ends with a brief overview of the Fed's regulatory responsibilities.
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
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.
Ending Cash Flow Financing to Egypt: Issues for Congress
This report analyzes this proposed change in U.S. foreign assistance to Egypt; it provides background on the history of cash flow financing (CFF) and reviews various issues for Congress.
Federal Securities Law: Insider Trading
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. This report discusses various regulations regarding insider trading violations.
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.
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.
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.
Candidates, Groups, and the Campaign Finance Environment
This report briefly discusses the current campaign finance environment and the implications of changes to campaign finance policy over the past several decades.
Senate Banking: Financial Regulatory Improvement Act
This report briefly highlights some of the major policy proposals included in a May 12, 2015 discussion draft released by Senator Richard Shelby that is scheduled for markup by the Senate Banking Committee. The draft encompasses a broad package of reforms to the financial regulatory system, including some changes to the Dodd-Frank Act (P.L. 111-203).
International Investment Agreements (IIAs): Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions about international investment agreements (IIAs) made between the United States and other countries. Questions are categorized in three main areas: background and context; U.S. international investment agreements; and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).
How Have Small Banks Been Affected by Financial Reform?
This report briefly summarizes a CRS analysis of major rules issued since 2010 by banking regulators pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act.
"Regulatory Relief" for Banking: Selected Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses regulatory relief legislation for banks in the 114th Congress that, at the time this report was published, has seen floor action or has been ordered to be reported by a committee.
Uncertainty in Financial Projections of Social Security
The financial outlook for Social Security has been the subject of much analysis and debate. This report briefly discusses a report from the Social Security Board of Trustees which contains the federal government's official financial projections for the Social Security program.
Current Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides information on current debates over exchange rates in the global economy. It offers an overview of how exchange rates work; analyzes specific disagreements and debates; and examines existing frameworks for potentially addressing currency disputes. It also lays out some policy options available to Congress, should Members want to take action on exchange rate issues.
International Investment Agreements (IIAs): Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions about international investment agreements (IIAs) made between the United States and other countries. Questions are categorized in three main areas: background and context; U.S. international investment agreements; and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy.
An Analysis of the Regulatory Burden on Small Banks
This report explains the concept of regulatory burden and the different ways it can be manifested. It analyzes whether small banks are relatively more burdened by regulation than big banks. To help answer that question, the report looks at the relative treatment of small and large banks in recent major regulatory proposals.
IMF Reforms: Issues for Congress
This report provides information about the reforms made by the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December 2010, Congress's role in the reform process, and how the reforms could affect U.S. interests at the IMF.
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.
Status of the Federal Perkins Loan Program: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers several frequently asked questions regarding the current and future status of the Federal Perkins Loan program, which authorizes the allocation of federal funds to institutions of higher education to assist them in capitalizing revolving loan funds for the purpose of making low-interest loans to students with exceptional financial need.
Designating Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs)
This report briefly discusses congressional concerns regarding the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC) authorization to designate certain non-bank entities as Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFI).
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.
Increased Campaign Contribution Limits in the FY2015 Omnibus Appropriations Law: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides brief answers to frequently asked questions about increased campaign contribution limits in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 83; P.L. 113-235), enacted and signed into law in December 2014.