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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Issues for Congress

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations and Issues for Congress. Ian F. Fergusson, Coordinator, Specialist in International Trade and Finance; Mark A. McMinimy , Analyst in Agricultural Policy; Brock R. Williams, Analyst in International Trade and Finance. November 7, 2014.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) being negotiated among the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. U.S. negotiators and others describe and envision the TPP as a “comprehensive and high-standard” FTA that aims to liberalize trade in nearly all goods and services and include rules-based commitments beyond those currently established in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The broad outline of an agreement was announced on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial in November 2011, in Honolulu, HI. If concluded as envisioned, the TPP potentially could eliminate tariff and nontariff barriers to trade and investment among the parties and could serve as a template for a future trade pact among APEC members and potentially other countries. Congress has a direct interest in the negotiations, both through influencing U.S. negotiating positions with the executive branch, and by considering legislation to implement any resulting agreement.”

Public Plans Database

“The Center for State and Local Government Excellence and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College have partnered to develop the Public Plans Database (PPD). The PPD contains comprehensive financial, governance, and plan design information for 126 state and local defined benefit plans, along with additional data on state defined contribution plans. At the stateContinue Reading

The increased supply of underutilized labor from 2006 to 2014

“Four BLS measures of labor underutilization are used to analyze changes in the supply of labor from just before the 2007–2009 recession to June 2014; the results indicate that (1) the increase in the number of people marginally attached to the labor force over the period studied may have been due to either inadequate demandContinue Reading

Investigative Report on the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012

Via the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  The Committee is the House’s primary panel responsible for authorizing the funding for and overseeing the execution of the intelligence activities of the United States government. [No evidence of bad faith acts – released on Friday evening.] “For over two years, the House Permanent Select Committee onContinue Reading

Investigative Report – Why Mass Shootings Keep Happening

Are we helpless to stop mass shootings? Is anyone even trying to stop them? The good news is that the answers are No and Yes. The bad news: The person loading up hasn’t gotten the news. Tom Junod, Esquire, october 24, 2014. “SINCE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, according to the START terrorism database, there have been twentyContinue Reading

Women in Academic Science: A Changing Landscape

Psychological Science in the Public Interest 2014, Vol. 15(3) 75–141. Stephen J. Ceci1, Donna K. Ginther, Shulamit Kahn, and Wendy M. Williams “Much has been written in the past two decades about women in academic science careers, but this literature is contradictory. Many analyses have revealed a level playing field, with men and women faring equally, whereas  otherContinue Reading

Executive Order – Improving the Security of Consumer Financial Transactions

“Given that identity crimes, including credit, debit, and other payment card fraud, continue to be a risk to U.S. economic activity, and given the economic consequences of data breaches, the United States must take further action to enhance the security of data in the financial marketplace. While the U.S. Government’s credit, debit, and other paymentContinue Reading

FACT SHEET: Immigration Accountability Executive Action

“The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will help secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable, and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules.  Acting within his legal authority, the President is taking an important step to fix our broken immigration system. These executive actions crack down on illegal immigration at the border,Continue Reading

IMF announces all online data free of charge effective January 1, 2015

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF “…Finally, let me turn to another very important aspect of the IMF’s statistical work—data publication. We very much recognize the importance of data as a public good. In this context, we are upgrading our data platforms and improving the way we distribute data and statistics to our membership throughout the world. ThinkContinue Reading

The Transmission of Liquidity Shocks

IMF – The Transmission of Liquidity Shocks: The Role of Internal Capital Markets and Bank Funding Strategies, Philippe D Karam; Ouarda Merrouche; Moez Souissi; Rima Turk. November 19, 2014. “We analyze the transmission of bank-specific liquidity shocks triggered by a credit rating downgrade through the lending channel. Using bank-level data for US Bank Holding Companies, we find thatContinue Reading

Subcommittee Finds Wall Street Commodities Actions Add Risk To Economy, Businesses, Consumers

News release: “Wall Street banks have become heavily involved with physical commodities markets, increasing risks to financial stability, industry, consumers and markets, a two-year investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found. The investigation’s findings, contained in a 396-page bipartisan report, add important new details to the public debate about the breakdown of theContinue Reading

The Tightening Web of Russian Internet Regulation

Tselikov, Andrey, The Tightening Web of Russian Internet Regulation (November 20, 2014). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2014-15. Available for download at SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2527603 “Over the past two years, systematic Internet regulation has increased more in Russia than anywhere else in the world. A series of progressively more restrictive legislative developments between the summer of 2012Continue Reading