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The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition

Description: This report analyzes the current crises that the U.S. newspaper industry is facing in light of the recent economic downturn and the increasing number of readers who turn to the Internet for their news instead of to traditional media. Congress has begun debating whether the financial problems in the newspaper industry pose a public policy issue that warrants federal action.
Date: July 8, 2009
Creator: Kirchoff, Suzanne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

El Salvador: Political, Economic, and Social Conditions and U.S. Relations

Description: This report discusses the state of the El Salvadoran government and recently elected President Mauricio Funes. This report also discusses the relationship between El Salvador and the United States, notably U.S. efforts to restore democracy and initiate economic reform in El Salvador. This report also briefly addresses the effects of the current financial crisis on El Salvador's economy, poverty levels, and crime rates.
Date: June 8, 2009
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando & Meyer, Peter J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Organized Crime in the United States: Trends and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the threat of organized crime against the United States, most notably organized crime from criminal organizations in Russia, Asia, Italy, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa. The report explores the issue of organized crime in relation to the economic downturn and national security, namely terrorism. The report also discusses how Congress is currently working to address these issues and includes information on relevant pieces of legislation.
Date: May 15, 2009
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
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

Iceland's Financial Crisis

Description: 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.
Date: November 20, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pakistan's Capital Crisis: Implications for U.S. Policy

Description: Pakistan - a key U.S. ally in global efforts to combat Islamist militancy - is in urgent need of an estimated $4 billion in capital to avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. The Pakistani government is seeking short-term financial assistance from a number of sources, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China, and an informal group of nations (including the United States) known as the "Friends of Pakistan." The current crisis has placed some strain on U.S.-Pakistan relations.
Date: November 21, 2008
Creator: Martin, Michael F. & Kronstadt, K. Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: Over the past several years, China has enjoyed one of the world's fastest growing economies and has been a major contributor to world economic growth. However, the current global financial crisis threatens to slow China's economy. China is a major economic power and holds huge amounts of foreign exchange reserves, and thus it could play a major role in responding to the current crisis. For example, in an effort to help stabilize the U.S. economy, China might boost its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities, which would help fund the Federal Government's purchases of troubled U.S. assets. However, this could raise a number of issues and concerns for U.S. policymakers.
Date: November 13, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: Over the past several years, China has enjoyed one of the world's fastest growing economies and has been a major contributor to world economic growth. However, the current global financial crisis threatens to slow China's economy. China is a major economic power and holds huge amounts of foreign exchange reserves, and thus it could play a major role in responding to the current crisis. For example, in an effort to help stabilize the U.S. economy, China might boost its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities, which would help fund the Federal Government's purchases of troubled U.S. assets. However, this could raise a number of issues and concerns for U.S. policymakers.
Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pakistan's Capital Crisis: Implications for U.S. Policy

Description: Pakistan - a key U.S. ally in global efforts to combat Islamist militancy - is in urgent need of an estimated $4 billion in capital to avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. The elected government of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani is seeking short-term financial assistance from a number of sources, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China, and an informal group of nations (including the United States) known as the "Friends of Pakistan." The current crisis has placed some strain on U.S.-Pakistan relations.
Date: November 7, 2008
Creator: Martin, Michael F. & Kronstadt, K. Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Description: 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.
Date: October 30, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Description: 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.
Date: October 27, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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

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 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

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 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

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

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

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