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Annuities and the Securities and Exchange Commission Proposed Rule 151A

Description: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released a proposed rule that would effectively reclassify equity indexed annuities as a security product in addition to being an insurance product. This report presents the different types of annuities, explains the taxation of annuities, and disentangles the federal and state roles in the regulation of annuities. It outlines the proposed SEC rule and its current status.
Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Webel, Baird
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ebbs and Flows of Federal Debt

Description: This report will define the measures of debt, discuss the mechanisms of how debt levels change, and use historical examples to illustrate the factors causing debt movements over the last seven decades. In addition, some policies which may affect the future budgetary outlook and the debt will be discussed.
Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Levit, Mindy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

Description: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)1 was established in 1969 and began operations in 1971 to promote and assist U.S. business investment in developing nations. OPIC is a U.S. government agency that provides project financing, investment insurance, and other services for U.S. businesses in 154 developing nations and emerging economies. OPIC is currently authorized through March 9, 2009 under the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329).
Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts

Description: This report provides an overview of the current status, trends, and forecasts for U.S. international trade. The purpose of this report is to provide current data and brief explanations for the various types of trade flows, particularly U.S. exports, along with a short discussion of particular trends and points of contention related to trade policy.
Date: October 16, 2008
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.; Ilias, Shayerah & Donnelly, J. Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

Description: In response to ongoing financial turmoil that began in the subprime mortgage-backed securities market, the federal government has intervened with private corporations on a large scale and in an ad hoc manner three times from the beginning of 2008 through September 19, 2008. These interventions have prompted questions regarding the taxpayer costs and the sources of funding. The federal government may or may not end up seeing a positive fiscal contribution from the recent interventions. The results of previous government financial interventions are summarized in this report.
Date: October 15, 2008
Creator: Webel, Baird; Weiss, N. Eric & Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act's Insurance for Troubled Assets

Description: Many observers trace the root cause of recent instability in financial markets to uncertainty surrounding the value of widely held securities that are based on mortgages and mortgage-related assets. The introduction of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) was designed to address said financial instability through a variety of measures, including an insurance program for "troubled assets." This report briefly summarizes and analyzes the insurance program contained in the enacted version of the EESA.
Date: October 8, 2008
Creator: Webel, Baird
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financial Turmoil: Comparing the Troubled Asset Relief Program to the Federal Reserve's Response

Description: As financial conditions have deteriorated over the past year, the Federal Reserve (FeD) has greatly increased its lending to financial firms. It has also expanded the scope of eligible borrowers to include non-bank financial firms. Some have asked why these loans have not restored financial stability, and if the purchase of up to $700 billion of distressed assets through the recently enacted Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) might lead to a different result. Financial assistance to financial firms entails considerable risks to taxpayers. This report analyzes the risks and possible benefits of federally-assisted loans to banks and financial firms, especially in light of the financial crisis that came to a head in September 2008.
Date: October 8, 2008
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tax Gap: Proposals in the 110th Congress to Require Brokers to Report Basis on Publicly Traded Securities

Description: 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.
Date: October 8, 2008
Creator: Bickley, James M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Holdings of U.S. Securities: Implications for the U.S. Economy

Description: This report examines the importance to the U.S. economy of China's investment in U.S. securities, as well as U.S. concerns over the possibility that China might unload a large share of those holdings, including the likelihood that this would occur, and the potential implications such action could have for the U.S. economy. The report concludes that a large sell-off of Chinese Treasury securities holdings could negatively affect the U.S. economy, at least in the short-run. As a result, such a move could diminish U.S. demand for Chinese products and thus could lower China's economic growth as well.
Date: October 2, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraq's Debt Relief: Procedure and Potential Implications for International Debt Relief

Description: This report discusses the Iraqi debt problem in three parts: [1] overview of the Iraq debt situation following the ouster of the Saddam regime; [2] subsequent debt relief negotiations and their resolution; [3] possible implications for future debt relief cases that arise from Iraq's experience. The implications are: a willingness by the international community to grant a stay on the enforcement of creditor rights; an increased flexibility in Paris Club debt relief decisions; and an unwillingness by successor regimes to claim that their debt is odious and repudiate it.
Date: October 2, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financial Market Intervention

Description: Financial markets continue to experience significant disturbance and the banking sector remains fragile. Efforts to restore confidence have been met with mixed success thus far. After attempting to deal with troubled institutions on a case-by-case basis, Treasury has proposed a plan to purchase mortgage-related assets to alleviate stress in financial markets and in the banking system. This report provides answers to some frequently asked questions concerning the financial disruptions of September 2008 and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in H.R. 3997.
Date: September 29, 2008
Creator: Murphy, Edward V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons from Chile

Description: From 1981-1984, Chile experienced a banking crisis that in relative terms had a cost comparable in size to that perhaps facing the United States today. The Chilean Central Bank acted quickly and decisively in three ways to restore faith in the credit markets. It restructured firm and household loans, purchased nonperforming loans temporarily, and facilitated the sale or liquidation of insolvent financial institutions. These three measures increased liquidity in the credit markets and restored the balance sheets of the viable financial institutions. This report explores this incident in detail and in relation to the current financial situation in the U.S.
Date: September 29, 2008
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons from Japan

Description: Japan's five bank bailout packages in the late 1990s may hold some lessons for the United States. Overcoming the crisis in Japan's banks took a combination of capital injections, new laws and regulations, stronger oversight, a reorganization of the banking sector, moderate economic recovery, and several years of banks working off their non-performing loans.
Date: September 29, 2008
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons from Sweden

Description: In the early 1990s, Sweden faced a large banking and exchange rate crisis which it eventually resolved. Four lessons that emerged from Sweden's experience are: 1) the resolution process must be transparent; 2) the resolution agency must be politically and financially independent; 3) market discipline must be maintained; and 4) there must be a plan to jump-start credit flows in the financial system. This report provides an overview of the Swedish banking crisis and an explanation of the measures Sweden used to restore its banking system to health.
Date: September 29, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Resolution Trust Corporation: Historical Analysis

Description: In a 1989 legislative response to financial troubles in the thrift industry, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA, P.L. 101-73) was enacted. FIRREA's principal mission was to conduct a partially tax-payer funded program to address the troubles of the nation's many insolvent thrifts. To do so, it established a new entity, the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), whose mission was to address troubled thrifts by arranging their sale to other institutions or shuttering them and disposing of their assets. This report analyzes the creation and functions of the RTC, including criticisms and results of its actions.
Date: September 26, 2008
Creator: Shorter, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Statutory Offices of Inspector General: Past and Present

Description: Statutory offices of inspector general (OIG) consolidate responsibility for audits and investigations within a federal agency. Established by public law as permanent, nonpartisan, independent offices, they now exist in more than 60 establishments and entities, including all departments and largest agencies, along with numerous boards and commissions. Various initiatives and proposals in the 110th Congress are designed to strengthen the IGs' independence, add to their reports, and create new posts in the Intelligence Community.
Date: September 25, 2008
Creator: Kaiser, Frederick M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present

Description: In response to ongoing financial turmoil that began in the subprime mortgage-backed securities market, the federal government has intervened with private corporations on a large scale and in an ad hoc manner three times from the beginning of 2008 through September 19, 2008. These interventions have prompted questions regarding the taxpayer costs and the sources of funding. The federal government may or may not end up seeing a positive fiscal contribution from the recent interventions. The results of previous government financial interventions are summarized in this report.
Date: September 23, 2008
Creator: Webel, Baird; Weiss, N. Eric & Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposal to Allow Treasury to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets to Address Financial Instability

Description: Financial markets underwent severe stress during the week of September 15 - 22, 2008. After Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and AIG received a bridge loan from the Federal Reserve, policymakers reassessed their case-by-case approach to resolving financial problems. Secretary of the Treasury Paulson announced a plan to allow Treasury to purchase mortgage-related assets from U.S. financial institutions. The announced intent of the plan is to unclog financial markets, increase the health of the banking sector, and reduce ongoing risks to the economy. This report discusses a draft of the proposal as it stood on September 21, 2008, and analyzes frequently asked questions.
Date: September 22, 2008
Creator: Murphy, Edward V. & Webel, Baird
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Flood Insurance Program: Treasury Borrowing in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Description: 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.
Date: September 19, 2008
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in Conservatorship

Description: On September 7, 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that play a critical play in the U.S. home mortgage market, in conservatorship. As conservator, the FHFA has full powers to control the assets and operation of the firms. Dividends to common and preferred shareholders are suspended, but the U.S. Treasury has put in place a set of financing agreements to ensure that the GSEs continue to meet their obligations to holders of bonds that they have issued or guaranteed. This means that the U.S. taxpayer now stands behind about $5 trillion of GSE debt. This report provides basic information on the GSEs, the government intervention, and the potential cost to the taxpayer.
Date: September 15, 2008
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department