Congressional Research Service Reports - 1,182 Matching Results

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The 2007-2009 Recession: Similarities to and Differences from the Past

Description: According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the U.S. economy was in a recession for 18 months from December 2007 to June 2009. It was the longest and deepest recession of the post-World War II era. This report provides information on the patterns found across past recessions since World War II to gauge whether and how this recession might be different.
Date: October 6, 2010
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Description: This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance.
Date: October 25, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A. & Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Structure and Functions of the Federal Reserve System

Description: This report examines the structure and operations of the major components of the Federal Reserve System and provides an overview of congressional oversight activities. The report identifies the provisions of P.L. 111-203 (the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) that affect the structure and operations of the system.
Date: November 10, 2010
Creator: Smale, Pauline
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Status of the Basel III Capital Adequacy Accord

Description: 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.
Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: Eubanks, Walter W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Government Agencies Involved in Export Promotion: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of the federal agencies that participate in U.S. export promotion efforts and the issues that they raise for Congress. It proceeds first by discussing the coordination, budgets, and functions of federal government agencies involved in promoting exports. Next, the report provides an overview of the missions and activities of key federal government agencies that support exports. The last section of the report discusses agency-related issues for Congress.
Date: November 19, 2010
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah; Hanrahan, Charles E. & Villarreal, M. Angeles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts

Description: This report discusses the U.S. trade deficit in light of the 2008 global financial crisis, with emphasis on international trade and U.S. trade policy, most recent developments in trade of goods and service, trade forecasts for the future, and how issues such as the U.S. trade deficit and international trade, particularly with China, are commonly perceived.
Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Nanto, Dick K. & Donnelly, J. Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Robo-Signing" and Other Alleged Documentation Problems in Judicial and Nonjudicial Foreclosure Processes

Description: Recent depositions involving major servicers, including GMAC Mortgage, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, have raised concerns about "robo-signing" -- the practice of having a small number of individuals sign a large number of affidavits and other legal documents submitted to courts and other public authorities by mortgage companies to execute foreclosure. This report explores concerns related to these issues by explaining the mortgage market process, procedural problems that have surfaced during foreclosure proceedings, and other relevant information.
Date: November 15, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

Description: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) was established in 1969 and began operations in 1971 as a development agency to promote and assist U.S. business investment in developing nations. Today, OPIC is a U.S. government agency that provides project financing, investment insurance, and other services for U.S. businesses in over 150 developing nations and emerging economies. To date, OPIC has funded, guaranteed, or insured over $180 billion in investments.
Date: December 1, 2009
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

Description: The Social Security "full retirement age" will gradually rise from 65 to 67 beginning with people who attain age 62 in 2000 (i.e., those born in 1938). Early retirement benefits will still be available beginning at age 62, but at lower levels. To help solve Social Security's long-range financing problems, it has been proposed that these ages be raised further.
Date: June 24, 2002
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hedge Funds: Should They Be Regulated?

Description: In view of the growing impact of hedge funds on a variety of financial markets, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October 2004 adopted a regulation that requires hedge funds to register as investment advisers, disclose basic information about their operations, and open their books for inspection. The regulation took effect in February 2006, but on June 23, 2006, a court challenge was upheld and the rule was vacated. S. 1402 and H.R. 2586 would reinstate the SEC's authority. H.R. 2683 would require defined benefit pension plans to disclose investments in hedge funds. In December 2006, the SEC proposed raising the "accredited investor" standard - to be permitted to invest in hedge funds, an investor would need $2.5 million in assets, instead of $1 million.
Date: July 2, 2007
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financing Recovery from Large-Scale Natural Disasters

Description: Two important issues before Congress are (1) securing the nation's capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover/rebuild from natural catastrophe events, and (2) determining whether and how the federal government should intervene in catastrophe insurance markets. This report focuses on this issue at length, taking into consideration the Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2004 and 2005; a sequence of tornadoes, wildfire, earthquakes, Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, and the 2008 Midwestern floods; and the financial market turmoil in 2008.
Date: November 18, 2008
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China-U.S. Trade Issues

Description: This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, both with respect to the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation.
Date: June 3, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

Description: This report explores various aspects of the Chinese economy, including specific policies that some Members of Congress consider a form of currency manipulation, the U.S.-China economic relationship, and the state of the Chinese economy with respect to the current global economic crisis.
Date: June 17, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Financial Crisis: Impact on and Response by the European Union

Description: According to the most recent National Threat Assessment, the global financial crisis and its geopolitical implications pose the primary near-term security concern of the United States. Over the short run, both the EU and the United States are attempting to resolve the financial crisis while stimulating domestic demand to stem the economic downturn. These efforts have born little progress so far as the economic recession and the financial crisis have become reinforcing events, causing EU governments to forge policy responses to both crises. This report discusses this situation in detail and also discusses individual efforts by both the U.S. and EU to combat the effects of the crisis.
Date: June 24, 2009
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financial Market Turmoil and U.S. Macroeconomic Performance

Description: Lending in credit markets requires confidence in the borrowers' ability to repay the debt (principal and interest) in full and on schedule. The current turmoil in U.S. financial markets is the result of a breakdown in that necessary confidence. A number of indicators have pointed to a substantial rise in the cost of credit and a decrease in the flow of credit to the broader economy. Economic policy may be needed to get credit flowing smoothly again and to mitigate the damage incurred by households and non-financial businesses. Three types of policy response exist and are being applied in varying degrees. This report discusses each of these policy responses.
Date: June 9, 2009
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financial Regulatory Reform: Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as Proposed by the Obama Administration and H.R. 3126

Description: This report provides a brief summary of the President's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (the CPFA Act or the Act) and delineates some of the substantive differences between it and H.R. 3126, as introduced. It then analyzes some of the policy implications of the proposal, focusing on the separation of safety and soundness regulation from consumer protection, financial innovation, and the scope of regulation. The report then raises some questions regarding state law preemption, sources of funding, and rule-making procedures that the Act does not fully answer.
Date: July 17, 2009
Creator: Carpenter, David H. & Jickling, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications

Description: The world has entered a global recession that is causing widespread business contraction, increases in unemployment, and shrinking government revenues. The crisis has exposed fundamental weaknesses in financial systems worldwide, demonstrated how interconnected and interdependent economies are today, and has posed vexing policy dilemmas. This report describes the financial crisis in detail, including various countries' methods of coping with and adapting to the situation; the role of Congress in the solution and recovery process; and the Obama Administration proposal for financial regulatory reform.
Date: July 10, 2009
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications

Description: 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.
Date: July 2, 2009
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financing Catastrophic Risk: Summary of the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2009 (S. 505 and H.R. 2555)

Description: This report discusses the drastic increase in demand for homeowners' insurance in Atlantic and Gulf Coast states following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This report also discusses various measures and efforts underway to enhance insurer capacity, pursue alternative forms of risk transfer, and create a national catastrophe financing facility, the last of which is an issue under considerable debate.
Date: July 1, 2009
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit: Role of Foreign Governments

Description: The nation's trade deficit is equal to the imbalance between national investment and national saving. The financial turmoil and economic contraction during 2008 reduced the gap between national saving and investment. The result was a decline in the trade deficit and the net inflow of capital. If total net capital inflows decline, mainstream economics suggests, all else held constant, that the dollar and trade deficit would decline, U.S. interest rates would rise, and U.S. spending on capital goods and consumer durables would fall, all else equal.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hedge Funds: Should They Be Regulated?

Description: Hedge funds are essentially unregulated mutual funds. They are pools of invested money that buy and sell stocks and bonds and many other assets, including foreign currencies, precious metals, commodities, and derivatives. Hedge funds are structured to avoid Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation. In view of the growing impact of hedge funds on a variety of financial markets, the SEC in October 2004 adopted a regulation that required hedge funds to register as investment advisers, disclose basic information about their operations, and open their books for inspection. This report discusses various legislation before the 111th Congress that would impose various types and amounts of SEC regulation upon hedge funds.
Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Labor Market during the Great Depression and the Current Recession

Description: This report analyzes the labor market experiences of workers during the 1930s, which encompassed the almost five years of the Great Depression. Because it was a period very distant and different from today, considerable time is devoted to examining the employment and unemployment measures available at that time. The report ends by comparing the labor market conditions of the 1930s with those encountered by workers thus far during the recession that began in December 2007.
Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Levine, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Canada's Financial System: An Overview

Description: This report discusses the relative stability of Canada's financial system in comparison to the financial systems of other nations around the globe that are suffering from the current financial crisis. This report presents an overview of Canada's financial system and its supervisory framework and draws some distinctions between that system and the current U.S. framework.
Date: June 26, 2009
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China and the Global Financial Crisis: Implications for the United States

Description: This report discusses the economy of China and how it is has been affected by the recent economic downturn. China has recently enjoyed one of the world's fastest-growing economies and has been a major contributor to world economic growth, but several Chinese industries have been hard by the crisis, and millions of workers have been laid off. This report explores this issue in brief, including what actions the Chinese government is taking to combat the problem, as well as what actions China may take to assist in stabilizing the U.S. economy.
Date: June 3, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department