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Regulation of Naked Short Selling
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Campaign Finance Legislation in the 108th Congress
As of October 11, 2004, 29 bills have been introduced in the 108th Congress to change the nation’s campaign finance laws (primarily under Titles 2 and 26 of the U.S. Code). These bills — 20 in the House and nine in the Senate — seek to make improvements in the current system, including to tighten perceived loopholes. In the wake of enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (P.L. 107- 155), there has been decidedly less legislative activity in this area than in recent Congresses, which typically saw well over 100 campaign finance-related bills introduced.
National Flood Insurance Program: Treasury Borrowing in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
In 2008, Hurricanes Ike, Gustav, and Dolly made landfall in the United States, causing widespread flood damage. Exactly three years earlier, claims and expenses related to the massive flooding caused by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma had financially overwhelmed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that the NFIP will need about $3 billion in additional borrowing authority to cover the claims currently outstanding and a yet to be determined amount for the 2008 Hurricanes. Congress is currently working to reform the NFIP while retaining its original intent to keep rates affordable for people to buy the insurance.
Derivatives Regulation: Legislation in the 106th Congress
The 106th Congress is considering a general overhaul of derivatives regulation. Pending legislation would codify the unregulated status of certain derivatives, exempt many other currently-regulated contracts from oversight by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and permit the trading of a new kind of contract: a futures contract based on the stock of an individual corporation. Derivatives legislation has been reported out of committee in both House and Senate. This report analyzes this legislation in the 106th Congress, and will be updated as developments warrant.
The Commodity Futures Modernization Act (P.L. 106-554)
The last act of the 106th Congress was to pass an omnibus bill that included the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (H.R. 5660; P.L. 106-554), the most significant amendments to the regulation of derivatives trading in 25 years. Derivative financial instruments are those that gain or lose value as some underlying rate, price, or other economic variable changes. The 106th Congress approved an overhaul of derivatives regulation which codified the unregulated status of certain derivatives, permitted the exemption of other currently-regulated contracts from oversight by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and permitted the trading of a new kind of contract: a futures contract/security hybrid based on the stocks of individual corporation.
The Commodity Futures Modernization Act (P.L. 106-554)
The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA) enacted the most sweeping amendments to derivatives law since the creation of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in 1974. Provisions included major changes in the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) regarding the regulation of exchange-traded futures contracts, over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, and “security futures,” contracts based on individual stocks (which were previously prohibited).
GSEs and the Government's Role in Housing Finance: Issues for the 113th Congress
This report examines options concerning the future of the GSEs and the future government role in residential mortgage markets. Other CRS reports address related issues such as conservatorship, the GSEs' financial condition, residential mortgage markets in other nations, and affordable housing.
Housing Issues in the 113th Congress
This report begins by providing an overview of the current state of housing markets (both homeownership and rental) and the mortgage market in order to provide context for the policy issues that have been active during the 113th Congress. It then provides a brief description of issues that the 113th Congress has been considering. These issues are broadly divided into two categories: issues related to homeownership and housing finance, and issues related to housing assistance for low-income households
International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 113th Congress, Second Session
This report provides information about the reforms, Congress's role in the reform process, and how the reforms could affect U.S. interests at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
National Mortgage Servicing Standards: Legislation in the 112th Congress
This report analyzes the potential misaligned incentives in the servicer-mortgage holder relationship and the servicing standards that attempt to address each concern, the servicer-borrower relationship and the relevant servicing provisions, as well as the possible implications of reforming the servicing industry.
Campaign Finance Reform: A Summary and Analysis of Legislative Proposals In the 98th and 99th Congresses
This report summarizes and analyzes on a conceptual basis the 108 bills and major amendments offered in the 98th and 99th Congresses which proposed changes in the campaign finance laws governing Federal elections.
World Bank Legislation Before the 99th Congress
The 99th Congress has before it several proposals to authorize additional U.S. contributions to multilateral development banks. These include potential subscriptions or contributions to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the African Development Fund (AFDF), and the special African aid facility of the International Development Association (IDA). There is no legislation now before Congress to authorize new contributions to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the regular budget of the IDA, or any of the other regional development banks. These have been dealt with in previous years. This paper provides some background on the World Bank and a summary of the pending legislation.
World Bank Legislation Before the 99th Congress
The 99th Congress has before it several proposals to authorize additional U.S. contributions to multilateral development banks. These include potential subscriptions or contributions to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the African Development Fund (AFDF), and the special African aid facility of the International Development Association (IDA). There is no legislation now before Congress to authorize new contributions to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the regular budget of the IDA, or any of the other regional development banks. These have been dealt with in previous years. This paper provides some background on the World Bank and a summary of the pending legislation.
Consumer Bankruptcy Reform: Proposals Before the 105th Congress
This report examines current consumer bankruptcy practice and the proposals set forth in the reform bills. Also considered are the legislative history of the current consumer bankruptcy scheme, and topics likely to be debated as Congress proceeds to consider consumer bankruptcy reform.
Campaign Finance Reform Bills in the 105th Congress: Comparison of H.R. 3581 (Thomas), H.R. 3526 (Shays-Meehan), and Current Law
On March 30, 1998, the House considered four campaign reform bills under a suspension of rules, focusing on the comprehensive H.R. 3581, offered that day for the Republican leadership by Mr. Thomas; it failed passage on a 74-337 vote. (The bill was similar to H.R. 3485, also by Mr. Thomas, reported by the House Oversight Committee March 18.1) The bill generating the most publicity in the 105th Congress has been S. 25 (McCain-Feingold),2 introduced on March 19 as H.R. 3526 by Messrs. Shays and Meehan. This report summarizes and compares H.R. 3581, H.R. 3526, and current law.
Campaign Finance Bills in the 107th Congress: Comparison of S. 27 (McCain-Feingold), H.R. 2356 (Shays-Meehan), H.R. 2360 (Ney-Wynn), and Current Law
This report summarizes and compares three major campaign finance reform bills before the 107th Congress and current law (in most cases, the Federal Election Campaign Act, or FECA, 2 U.S.C. § 431 et seq.).
Campaign Finance: Potential Legislative and Policy Issues for the 111th Congress
This report provides an overview of selected campaign finance policy issues that have received recent legislative attention, or have otherwise been prominent, and which could receive attention during the 111th Congress.
Derivatives Regulation in the 111th Congress
This report summarizes derivatives legislation that was considered but not enacted by the 111th Congress, and it provides background on the derivatives market.
Insurance and Financial Regulatory Reform in the 111th Congress
This report discusses the broad financial regulatory reform legislation has been advanced by the Obama Administration and by various Members of Congress in the aftermath of the recent financial crisis.
"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.
Fixed Exchange Rates, Floating Exchange Rates, and Currency Boards: What Have We Learned?
This report evaluates the benefits and drawbacks of different types of exchange rate regimes from the perspective of their effects on macroeconomic stability.
Financial Services Regulatory Relief in the 109th Congress: H.R. 3505 and S. 2856
This report gives an overview of the major regulatory relief provisions in H.R. 3505 and S. 2856, focusing on their potential impact on bank concentration. The report examines both bills’ provisions to assess whether they are likely to support or discourage bank consolidation. The consolidation of the banking industry arguably reduces competition, which could tend to raise the price of banking services. On the other hand, there is empirical evidence that shows economies of scale in banking, including economies in complying with banking regulations, suggesting larger banks might be able to provide banking services at lower cost than smaller banks.
Structure and Functions of the Federal Reserve System
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The Stock Market's Response to Dramatic Historical Events
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Terrorism Insurance - Comparison of H.R. 3210 and S. 2600
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The Pattern of Interest Rates in 2006: Could It Signal an Impending Recession?
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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.
Tax-Exempt Bonds: A Description of State and Local Government Debt
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Consumer Proposals in the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1998: H.R. 3150, 105th Congress, 2d Session (1998)
This report considers the legislative history of the current consumer bankruptcy scheme. It examines current consumer bankruptcy practice and surveys the consumer proposals set forth in Title I of H.R. 3150, with an emphasis on the likely impact of the bill on family support obligations.
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002: Summary and Comparison with Previous Law
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 was enacted on March 27, 2002 as P.L. 107-155. It passed the House on February 14, 2002, as H.R. 2356 (Shays- Meehan), by a 240-189 vote. Its companion measure, on which it was largely based, had initially been passed by the Senate in 2001 as S. 27 (McCain-Feingold). On March 20, 2002, however, the Senate approved the House-passed H.R. 2356 by a 60- 40 vote, thus avoiding a conference to reconcile differences between S. 27 and H.R. 2356. The two primary features of P.L. 107-155 are restrictions on party soft money and issue advocacy.
Campaign Finance Bills in the 107th Congress: Comparison of S. 27 (McCain-Feingold), H.R. 2356 (Shays-Meehan), H.R. 2630 (Ney-Wyn), and Current Law
S. 27 (McCain-Feingold), the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001, was introduced January 22, 2001 in a form similar to prior versions of the last two Congresses. On April 2, after a two-week debate and adoption of 22 amendments, the Senate passed S. 27 by a vote of 59-41. That measure’s companion Shays-Meehan bill, the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2001, was initially introduced as H.R. 380 in a form similar to House-passed versions of the prior two Congresses; on June 28, the bill was modified and offered as H.R. 2356. H.R. 2360 (Ney-Wynn), the Campaign Finance Reform and Grassroots Citizen Participation Act of 2001, was introduced and ordered reported favorably by the House Administration Committee on June 28. (Shays-Meehan was ordered reported unfavorably at the same time.) The two primary features of the bills are restrictions on party soft money and issue advocacy.
Insurance Coverage of the World Trade Center: Interpretation of "War Risk" Exclusion Causes Under New York Contract Law
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Insurance Exclusion Clauses: Excluding War Risks and Terror Risks from Insurance Contracts
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No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance
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Securities Law: Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and Selected 108th Congress Bills Concerning Corporate Accountability
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Iceland's Financial Crisis
This report discusses the banking collapse in Iceland. Iceland's banking system had collapsed as a result of a culmination of a series of decisions the banks made that left them highly exposed to disruptions in financial markets. The collapse of the banks raised questions for U.S. leaders and others about supervising banks that operate across national borders, especially as it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish the limits of domestic financial markets.
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
In December 2001, following an extended period of economic and political instability, Argentina suffered a severe financial crisis, leading to the largest default on sovereign debt in history. This report discusses efforts Argentina has made over the past decade, since that financial crisis, to restructure its debt. The report also includes discussion of the Argentine 2010 Bond Exchange and an outlook of Argentina's economic future.
The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications
The world has entered a global recession that is causing widespread business contraction, increases in unemployment, and shrinking government revenues. The process for coping with the crisis by countries across the globe has been manifest in four basic phases. The first has been intervention to contain the contagion and restore confidence in the system. The second has been coping with the secondary effects of the crisis, particularly the global recession and flight of capital from countries in emerging markets and elsewhere that have been affected by the crisis. The third phase of this process is to make changes in the financial system to reduce risk and prevent future crises. The fourth phase of the process is dealing with political, social, and security effects of the financial turmoil. The role for Congress in this financial crisis is multifaceted. This report describes this role, as well as the financial crisis in general, in detail.
The Status of the Basel III Capital Adequacy Accord
The new Basel Capital Adequacy Accord (Basel III) is an agreement among countries' central banks and bank supervisory authorities on the amount of capital banks must hold as a cushion against losses and insolvency. Basel III is of concern to Congress mainly because it could put U.S. financial institutions at a competitive disadvantage in world financial markets. This report follows the basic elements of the Basel III documents on the types of capital requirements and their phase-in schedule, which were approved by the Basel member central bank governors on September 12, 2010. The elements are the new definition of Tier 1 capital, the minimum common equity capital, the capital conservation buffer, countercyclical capital buffer, liquidity coverage ratio, global leverage ratio, and wind-down government capital injections. The report concludes with some implications drawn from its content.
The Global Financial Crisis: Increasing IMF Resources and the Role of Congress
This report provides information on the role the IMF has played in the financial crisis, international agreement to increase the financial resources of the IMF, and the role of Congress in increasing the Fund's resources. As will be discussed in detail at the end of the report, congressional authorization, and perhaps appropriation, would be required to increase U.S. contributions to the IMF.
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues
The United States is the largest investor abroad and the largest recipient of direct investment in the world. Some observers believe U.S. firms invest abroad to avoid U.S. labor unions or high U.S. wages, however, 70% of U.S. foreign direct investment is concentrated in high income developed countries. Even more striking is the fact that the share of investment going to developing countries has fallen in recent years. Most economists conclude that direct investment abroad does not lead to fewer jobs or lower incomes overall for Americans and that the majority of jobs lost among U.S. manufacturing firms over the past decade reflect a broad restructuring of U.S. manufacturing industries.
The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This report discusses two potential roles the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may have in helping to resolve the current global financial crisis: (1) immediate crisis control through balance of payments lending to emerging market and less-developed countries and (2) increased surveillance of the global economy through better coordination with the international financial regulatory agencies.
Iceland's Financial Crisis
On November 19, 2008, Iceland and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finalized an agreement on a $6 billion economic stabilization program supported by a $2.1 billion loan from the IMF. Iceland's banking system had collapsed as a culmination of a series of decisions the banks made that left them highly exposed to disruptions in financial markets. The collapse of the banks also raises questions for U.S. leaders and others about supervising banks that operate across national borders, especially as it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish the limits of domestic financial markets.
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY1998-2009
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress appropriated during the past 11 years for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs). It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations. It will be updated periodically. Three companion reports provide further information on the MDBs. See CRS Report RS20793, Multilateral Development Banks: Basic Background, CRS Report RS20791, Multilateral Development Banks: Procedures for U.S. Participation, and CRS Report RS22134 International Financial Institutions: Funding U.S. Participation.
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.
Glass-Steagall Act: Commercial vs. Investment Banking
This report discusses debate over reform of the Nation's financial structure in the 100th Congress includes re-examination of "the separation of banking and commerce." This separation was mandated by the Glass-Steagall Act (part of the Banking Act of 1933); and was carried forward into the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended in 1970 and thereafter. The resulting isolation of banking from securities was designed to (1) maintain the integrity of the banking system; (2) prevent self-dealing and other financial abuses; and (3) limit stock market speculation. By half a century later, the "wall" it created seemed to be crumbling, as bankers created new financial products resembling securities, and securities firms innovated new financial products resembling loans and deposits. The ongoing process of "financial deregulation" has evoked calls for Congress to give depository institutions new powers, especially in the securities field. Financial deregulation in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan has put additional pressure on Congress to re-examine this Act. Concerns over a seemingly fragile system of depository institutions persist, however, tending to place counter-pressure on Congress to maintain the Act.
The U.S. Financial Crisis: The Global Dimension with Implications for U.S. Policy
This report examines the global ramifications of the financial crisis, which exposed fundamental weaknesses in financial systems worldwide, and despite coordinated easing of monetary policy by governments and trillions of dollars in intervention by governments and the International Monetary Fund, the crisis continues.
The Stability of the International Banking System
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The Stability of the International Banking System
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Effects of Flat Taxes and Other Proposals on Housing: An Overview
Studies have estimated that some of these revisions would cause a decline in demand for houses and significant reduction in house prices--perhaps in excess of 15 percent. These studies, however, presumed a fixed supply of housing; even a limited supply response would greatly decrease predicted asset price effects. Supply response is likely to be large in the long run and not insignificant in the short run. Effects on housing demand might also be mitigated by increases in savings rates and lower interest rates. Thus, effects of the flat tax on housing prices are likely to be limited in the short run and very small in the long run. Rental housing demand, on the other hand, would be encouraged with a shift to a consumption tax base.