Congressional Research Service Reports - 46 Matching Results

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The Future of the Eurozone and U.S. Interests

Description: Seventeen of the European Union's 27 member states share an economic and monetary union (EMU) with the euro as a single currency. These countries are effectively referred to as the Eurozone. What has become known as the Eurozone crisis began in early 2010 when financial markets were shaken by heightened concerns that the fiscal positions of a number of Eurozone countries, beginning with Greece, were unsustainable. This report provides background information and analysis on the future of the Eurozone in six parts, including discussions on the origins and design challenges of the Eurozone, proposals to define the Eurozone crisis, possible scenarios for the future of the Eurozone, and the implications of the Eurozone crisis for U.S. economic and political interests.
Date: January 17, 2012
Creator: Ahearn, Raymond J.; Jackson, James K.; Mix, Derek E. & Nelson, Rebecca M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options

Description: This report gives an overview of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC)—enacted on a temporary basis by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and extended through the end of 2012 by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010— which is a partially-refundable tax credit that provides financial assistance to taxpayers who are attending college, or whose children are attending college. There are a variety of policy options mentioned in the report regarding the AOTC, including extending the credit, extending a modified AOTC, or repealing the Hope and Lifetime Credits and extending a modified AOTC that includes provisions included in these credits.
Date: June 11, 2012
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.
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: February 23, 2012
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses selected litigation to demonstrate how those events have changed the campaign finance landscape and affected the policy issues that may confront Congress, but it is not a constitutional or legal analysis. Campaign finance data appears throughout the report.
Date: January 4, 2012
Creator: Garrett, R. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ability to Repay, Risk-Retention Standards, and Mortgage Credit Access

Description: This report examines the developments associated with the implementation of mortgage lending reforms. The report begins with a summary of proposed ability to repay and risk-retention standards. Next, the report describes risky underwriting and financing practices that occurred prior to the mortgage crisis, followed by a discussion of how access to mortgage credit might be affected.
Date: June 5, 2012
Creator: Getter, Darryl E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Mortgage Servicing Standards: Legislation in the 112th Congress

Description: 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.
Date: August 29, 2012
Creator: Hoskins, Sean M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reduce, Refinance, and Rent? The Economic Incentives, Risks, and Ramifications of Housing Market Policy Options

Description: This report discusses the background of financial panic in September 2008, precipitated by the housing bubble of 2006. In particular, the report looks at options that the 112th Congress has regarding the housing market: (1) reducing mortgage principal for borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth, (2) refinancing mortgages for borrowers shut out of traditional financing methods, and (3) renting out foreclosed homes.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Hoskins, Sean M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues

Description: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank, EXIM Bank, or the Bank), an independent federal government agency, is the official export credit agency (ECA) of the United States. It helps finance U.S. exports of manufactured goods and services, with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers, primarily in circumstances when alternative financing is not available. Members of the 112th Congress may examine issues related to the Ex-Im Bank that center on the economic rationale for the Bank; the impact of the Bank on the federal budget and U.S. taxpayers; the Bank's support for specific types of business or industries; the current balance between the Bank's advancement of U.S. commercial interests and other U.S. policy goals; the competitive position of the Bank compared to foreign ECAs; and the Bank's organizational structure.
Date: April 3, 2012
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

Description: This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress' oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction.
Date: September 26, 2012
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment

Description: This report covers the recent background of the Exon-Florio provision with special regards to issues faced in the 112th Congress. The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of "persons engaged in interstate commerce in the United States" that threaten to impair the national security.
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The National Flood Insurance Program: Status and Remaining Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an analysis of flood risk management, summarizes major challenges facing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and outlines key reforms in the recently enacted Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The report also identifies and presents some key remaining flood management issues for congressional considerations, and it concludes with a discussion of relevant policy options for the future financial management of flood hazards in the United States.
Date: December 10, 2012
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluating the Current Stance of Monetary Policy Using a Taylor Rule

Description: Oversight of the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) monetary policy decisions rests with Congress. But oversight is encumbered by the absence of a straightforward relationship between interest rates and economic performance. Further, the Fed's policy decisions are discretionary, meaning there is no objective, transparent “yardstick” for evaluating their decisions. A simple rule of thumb guide to monetary policy decisions called a “Taylor rule” is an intuitive way to judge actual policy against some objective, albeit simplistic, ideal. Taylor rules prescribe a federal funds target based on inflation and the output gap (i.e., the difference between actual gross domestic product [GDP] and potential GDP) and can be adjusted to reflect a variety of policy goals.
Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions

Description: This report discusses how the Federal Reserve (Fed) handles monetary policy, including background information about the execution of monetary policy, the recent and current stance of monetary policy, and current legislation and Congressional oversight that would affect the Fed's practices.
Date: July 6, 2012
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions

Description: The Federal Reserve (Fed) defines monetary policy as the actions it undertakes to influence the availability and cost of money and credit. Since the expectations of market participants play an important role in determining prices and growth, monetary policy can also be defined to include the directives, policies, statements, and actions of the Fed that influence how the future is perceived. In addition, the Fed acts as a “lender of last resort” to the nation's financial system, meaning that it ensures continued smooth functioning of financial intermediation by providing financial markets with adequate liquidity. This role has become of great importance following the onset of the recent financial crisis. Congress has delegated responsibility for monetary policy to the Fed, but retains oversight responsibilities to ensure that the Fed is adhering to its statutory mandate “maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” This report looks at the background and influences of current legislation that would affect the Fed's practices.
Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supervision of U.S. Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Systems: Designation of Financial Market Utilities (FMUs)

Description: This report outlines the changes to the supervision of key market infrastructure that are embodied in the Dodd-Frank Act. It is intended to be used as a reference for those interested in the financial system's "plumbing," and how the associated systems are currently overseen and regulated.
Date: September 10, 2012
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The STOCK Act, Insider Trading, and Public Financial Reporting by Federal Officials

Description: An overview of the STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012), which was signed into law on April 4, 2012, affirms and makes explicit the fact that there is no exemption from the "insider trading" laws and regulations for Members of Congress, congressional employees, or any federal officials.
Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Maskell, Jack
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Title VII, Derivatives

Description: This report describes some of the requirements placed on the derivatives market by the Dodd-Frank Act, which provides exceptions to the clearing and trading requirements for commercial end-users, or firms that use derivatives to hedge the risks of their nonfinancial business operations.
Date: November 6, 2012
Creator: Miller, Rena S. & Ruane, Kathleen Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department