Congressional Research Service Reports - 55 Matching Results

Search Results

Auditing and Its Regulators: Reforms After Enron

Description: Auditors are regulated by both governmental agencies and professional organizations, though many now question whether this oversight is adequate. Enron’s auditor, Arthur Andersen, has been investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), several congressional committees, and other agencies, and it is facing numerous law suits. A federal jury convicted the firm on obstruction of justice charges on June 15, 2002. Other corporations and their auditors are also under scrutiny. Numerous accounting and audit reforms have been proposed, including some by the accounting industry. The House passed an audit reform bill (H.R. 3763) on April 24, 2002. The Senate passed an amended version of its bill (S. 2673) on July 15th. The SEC published proposed reform rules June 26th; on the 28th it required top executives in companies with revenues exceeding $1.2 billion to personally certify that filed reports are complete and accurate
Date: November 15, 2002
Creator: Lyke, Bob
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Depreciating Dollar: Economic Effects and Policy Response

Description: This report discusses the trend of depreciation of the dollar since 2002. This raises concern among some in Congress and the public that the dollar's decline is a symptom of broader economic problems, such as a weak economic recovery, rising public debt, and a diminished standing in the global economy. However, a falling currency is not always a problem, but possibly an element of economic adjustments that are, on balance, beneficial to the economy.
Date: April 15, 2011
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Investment Agreements (IIAs): Frequently Asked Questions

Description: 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).
Date: May 15, 2015
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.; Akhtar, Shayerah Ilias; Murrill, Brandon J. & Shedd, Daniel T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sovereign Wealth Funds: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background on sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) -- investment funds owned and managed by national governments -- including countries operating SWFs and the size of the SWF market. It also discusses broad areas of concern to Members of Congress and the international financial community.
Date: January 15, 2009
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Financial Problems: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: Recent turmoil in the housing and financial markets have caused concern over the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are chartered by Congress as government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and are widely believed to have an implicit guarantee from the federal government. The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) -- the GSEs safety and soundness regulator -- has repeated assurances that Fannie and Freddie have adequate capital, but as highly leveraged financial intermediaries, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have limited resources against losses. This report analyzes various aspects of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in relation to the financial turmoil that began in September 2008.
Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Weiss, N. Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pension Funds Investing in Hedge Funds

Description: The proportion of U.S. corporate-defined benefit pension funds investing in hedge funds has increased to 24% in 2006, up from 19% in 2004 and 12% in 2000. Although statistics vary, total corporate pension fund assets allocated to hedge funds in 2006 was 2.1%. Because of hedge funds’ risky nature, rapid growth, lack of oversight, and recent losses, some wonder if they are appropriate investments for workers’ retirement funds. This report discusses concerns regarding hedge funds and examines possible policy options.
Date: June 15, 2007
Creator: Klunk, William
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Stock Options: The Accounting Issue and Its Consequences

Description: The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued a long-anticipated rule that stock options must be recognized as an expense on corporation income statements. The previous accounting rule permitted but did not require recognition; corporations that elected to omit the cost of options, as most did, have been able to report higher earnings. This report examines the debate surrounding the issue and discusses the potential consequences.
Date: November 15, 2005
Creator: Lyke, Bob & Shorter, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis

Description: Foreign direct investment in the United States1 declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate. In 2007, according to Department of Commerce data, foreigners invested $237 billion. Foreign direct investments are highly sought after by many State and local governments that are struggling to create additional jobs in their localities. While some in Congress encourage such investment to offset the perceived negative economic effects of U.S. firms investing abroad, others are concerned about foreign acquisitions of U.S. firms that are considered essential to U.S. national and economic security.
Date: August 15, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ex-Im Bank: No Quorum, No Problem?

Description: This report discusses the operation on a limited basis of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) despite a renewal of its general statutory charter through FY2019 (P.L. 114-94,
Date: September 15, 2016
Creator: Akhtar, Shayerah Ilias
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Regulatory Relief" for Banking: Selected Legislation in the 114th Congress

Description: 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.
Date: October 15, 2015
Creator: Hoskins, Sean M.; Gnanarajah, Raj; Labonte, Marc; Murphy, Edward V. & Shorter, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interest Payments on the Federal Debt: A Primer

Description: This report provides a brief overview of the federal debt and net interest payments. Of the three broad categories of federal spending, the only category that cannot be reduced by legislative action is net interest payments. The report provides information about federal debt, interest payments on the federal dept, and determinants of net interest payments.
Date: April 15, 2010
Creator: Hungerford, Thomas L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

Description: Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be interpreted to favor or disfavor certain candidates, while also serving to inform the public about a policy issue. However, unlike communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, the Supreme Court has ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and cannot be regulated.
Date: May 15, 1998
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

Description: Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be interpreted to favor or disfavor certain candidates, while also serving to inform the public about a policy issue. However, unlike communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, the Supreme Court has ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and cannot be regulated in any manner. According to most lower court rulings, only speech containing express words of advocacy of election or defeat, also known as “express advocacy” or “magic words” can be regulated as election-related communications and therefore be subject to the requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Unlike express advocacy communications, therefore, issue ads may be paid for with funds unregulated by federal law, i.e., soft money
Date: March 15, 2002
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China and the CNOOC Bid for Unocal: Issues for Congress

Description: The bid by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to acquire the U.S. energy company Unocal for $18.5 billion raised many issues with U.S. policymakers. This report provides an overview and analysis of the CNOOC bid, U.S. interests, implications for U.S. energy security, U.S. investment in the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China’s) oil industry, the process for reviewing the security and other implications of foreign investment in the United States, Congressional activity, and a listing of unresolved issues.
Date: September 15, 2005
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.; Jackson, James K.; Morrison, Wayne M. & Kumins, Lawrence C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department