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Daily Archives: July 21, 2014

Subcommittee Finds “Basket Options” Misused To Dodge Billions In Taxes And Bypass Federal Leverage Limits

“Two global banks and more than a dozen hedge funds misused a complex financial structure to claim billions of dollars in unjustified tax savings and to avoid leverage limits that protect the financial system from risky debt, a Senate Subcommittee investigation has found. The improper use of this structured financial product, known as basket options, is… Continue Reading

Impact of Fed Tapering Announcements on Emerging Markets

“This paper analyzes market reactions to the 2013–14 Fed announcements relating to tapering of asset purchases and their relationship to macroeconomic fundamentals and country economic and financial structures. The study uses daily data on exchange rates, government bond yields, and stock prices for 21 emerging markets. It finds evidence of markets differentiating across countries around… Continue Reading

Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of Iraq and Afghanistan Active Duty Soldiers and Veterans

“This Visualizing Health Policy provides highlights from a survey that asked Iraq and Afghanistan active duty soldiers and veterans about whether their physical and emotional health is worse compared with before the wars, whether they personally know someone who has attempted or died by suicide, whether they experienced difficulty in transitioning back to civilian life,… Continue Reading

Central Bank Macroeconomic Forecasting during the Global Financial Crisis

The European Central Bank and Federal Reserve Bank of New York Experiences, July 2014 Number 680. Luci Alessi, Eric Ghysels, Luca Onorante, Richard Peach, and Simon Potter: “This paper documents macroeconomic forecasting during the global financial crisis by two key central banks: the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The paper is the result of a collaborative effort between the… Continue Reading

Comparing Bank and Federal Reserve Stress Test Results

Beverly Hirtle, Anna Kovner, and Eric McKay, New York Fed: “Stress tests have become an important method of assessing whether financial institutions have enough capital to operate in bad economic conditions. Under the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, both the Federal Reserve and large U.S. bank holding companies (BHCs) are required to do annual stress tests and to… Continue Reading

Stop Sneaky Online Tracking with EFF’s Privacy Badger

“The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released a beta version of Privacy Badger, a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome that detects and blocks online advertising and other embedded content that tracks you without your permission. Privacy Badger was launched in an alpha version less than three months ago, and already more than 150,000 users have… Continue Reading

Report: Dodd-Frank Act Does Not End Too Big to Fail But Perpetuates It as Official Policy

“House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) today released a committee staff report [prepared by the Republican Staff of the Committee on Financial Services] that concludes the Dodd-Frank Act did not end “too big to fail” as the law’s supporters claim, but actually had the… Continue Reading

Growing Deficits Over the Long Term Would Cause Federal Debt to Exceed 100 Percent of GDP by 2039

“Last week CBO released its latest report on the long-term budget outlook. (For a quick overview of the report, take a look at The 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook in 26 Slides.) Previous blog posts have highlighted the projected imbalance in federal spending and revenues over the next 25 years. Today’s post explains how projected shortfalls would accumulate… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – African Growth Opportunity, Consumer Finance, State Department

AFRICAN GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT: Observations on Competitiveness and Diversification of U.S. Imports from Beneficiary Countries, GAO-14-722R:  Published: Jul 21, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2014. CONSUMER FINANCE: Credit Cards Designed for Medical Services Not Covered by Insurance, GAO-14-570: Published: Jun 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2014. STATE DEPARTMENT: Implementation of Grants Policies Needs Better Oversight, GAO-14-635: Published: Jul 21, 2014. Publicly… Continue Reading

New kind of tracking tool, canvas fingerprinting, is being used to follow visitors to thousands of top websites

ProPublica and Mashable – “A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com. First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each… Continue Reading