Management and Resolution of Banking Crises: Lessons from Recent European Experience. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Patrick Honohan. January 2017
Several European countries endured severe and costly banking collapses in the past decade. Central banks (both within the euro area and outside) provided extensive liquidity to keep the payments system running smoothly in most—but not all—of these countries. The policy approaches to resolve the banking crises across European countries were remarkably different, reflecting the lack of administrative and legislative preparation for bank resolution. As banking systems that had been allowed to enlarge suffered in the face of the global downturn, the scale of bank failures that swept Europe overwhelmed existing policy structures. Not all the policy choices made seem wise in retrospect; a new policy approach was clearly needed. Along with new institutional arrangements for early warning of systemic instability and a single bank supervisor in the euro area, the European Union has adopted a new policy framework for managing and resolving banking crises in euro area countries. Honohan examines the new regime, which has been in operation since the beginning of 2016, and concludes that despite improvements, more needs to be done to ensure the safety of European financial institutions and prevent future banking crises. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 11 pages, 135.93 KB].
Untapped Talent: The Costs of Brain Waste among Highly Skilled Immigrants in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. By Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, James D. Bachmeier. December 2016.
While the United States has long been a top destination for the world’s best and brightest, it has fallen short when it comes to fully tapping the skills and training of these newcomers. As a result, nearly 2 million immigrants with college degrees in the United States—one out of every four—are relegated to low-skilled jobs or are unable to find work. This skill underutilization—often referred to as brain waste—comes at a significant cost to families and the U.S. economy: College-educated immigrants employed in low-skilled work miss out on more than $39 billion in wages. And as a result, federal, state, and local governments lose out on more than $10 billion in unrealized tax receipts, according to this study, which offers the first-ever estimates of the economic costs of brain waste. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 47 pages, 1.17 MB].
Special Minimum Wages for Workers with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Benjamin Collins. December 16, 2016
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended, sets the minimum wage for covered workers at $7.25 per hour. Section 14(c) of the FLSA permits certified employers to pay a worker with a disability that impairs the worker’s productive capacity a special minimum wage (SMW). The SMW may be below the federal minimum wage but must be commensurate with the worker’s productivity and the job’s prevailing wage.
This short report answers common questions related to SMWs. It covers
• federal legislation that authorizes SMWs;
• how individuals qualify for SMWs;
• how employers are certified to pay SMWs and how wage levels are set;
• data on employers that pay SMWs; and
• services that must be provided in conjunction with the payment of SMWs
[PDF format, 8 pages, 588.09 KB].
Global Risks Report 2017. World Economic Forum. January 11, 2017.
The Global Risks Report 2017 features perspectives from nearly 750 experts on the perceived impact and likelihood of 30 prevalent global risks as well as 13 underlying trends that could amplify them or alter the interconnections between them over a 10-year timeframe.
2016 saw a crystallization of political risks that have led to the election of populist leaders, a loss of faith in institutions and increased strain on international cooperation. We should not be surprised by this: for the past decade, the Global Risks Report has been drawing attention to persistent economic, social and political factors that have been shaping our risks landscape.
This year’s report will examine the five greatest priorities facing the world in 2017, their interconnections and the actions necessary to avoid their harshest fall-out. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 78 pages, 7.77 MB].
The Current and Future State of the Sharing Economy. Brookings Institution. Niam Yaraghi and Shamika Ravi. December 29, 2016
The sharing economy will inevitably become a major part of the global economy. In this report the authors examine the current state of the sharing economy, investigate the underlying economic, technological, social, and political factors that lead to the rise of the sharing economy and predict the growth of this sector in the coming years. The sudden emergence of the sharing economy has introduced many unforeseen challenges for consumers, incumbent businesses, regulators and policymakers. The authors identify these challenges and provide recommendations on how sharing economy platforms should address them. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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Social Security Primer. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Dawn Nuschler. December 5, 2016
Social Security provides monthly cash benefits to retired or disabled workers and their family members, and to the family members of deceased workers. Among the beneficiary population, approximately 82% are retired or disabled workers, and 18% are the family members of retired, disabled, or deceased workers. In October 2016, nearly 61 million beneficiaries received a total of $75 billion in benefit payments for the month; the average monthly benefit was $1,241.
Workers become eligible for Social Security benefits for themselves and their family members by working in Social Security-covered employment. An estimated 94% of workers in paid employment or self-employment are covered, and their earnings are subject to the Social Security payroll tax. In 2017, employers and employees each pay 6.2% of covered earnings, up to the annual limit on taxable earnings ($127,200 in 2017).
[PDF format, 18 pages, 764.81 KB].
The U.S. Income Distribution: Trends and Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Sarah A. Donovan, Marc Labonte, Joseph Dalaker. December 8, 2016
Income inequality—that is, the extent to which individuals’ or households’ incomes differ—has increased in the United States since the 1970s. Rising income inequality over this time period is driven largely by relatively rapid income growth at the top of the income distribution. For example, in 1975, the average income of households in the top fifth of income distribution was 10.3 times as large as average household income in the bottom fifth of the distribution; in 2015, average top incomes were 16.3 times as large as those at the bottom.
[PDF format, 47 pages, 1.19 MB].
How America Changed During Barack Obama’s Presidency. Pew Research Center. Michael Dimock. January 10, 2017
Barack Obama campaigned for the U.S. presidency on a platform of change. As he prepares to leave office, the country he led for eight years is undeniably different. Profound social, demographic and technological changes have swept across the United States during Obama’s tenure, as have important shifts in government policy and public opinion. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank. RAND Corporation. David A. Shlapak, Michael Johnson. November 2016.
Russia’s recent aggression against Ukraine has disrupted nearly a generation of relative peace and stability between Moscow and its Western neighbors and raised concerns about its larger intentions. From the perspective of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the threat to the three Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—former Soviet republics, now member states that border Russian territory—may be the most problematic. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
[PDF format, 14 pages, 1.49 MB].
The Truth about Trade Agreements—and Why We Need Them. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Chad P. Bown. November 21, 2016
US trade agreements could be the first economic casualty of the 2016 election. One of President-elect Donald Trump’s signature campaign promises was to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and even potentially pull the United States out of the World Trade Organization (WTO). And as Democratic leaders now contemplate their party’s future, they, too, are questioning the wisdom of such international deals.
Existing US trade agreements rose from the ashes of World War II and the Great Depression. Understanding how they protect the US economy, American workers, and consumers is critical to avoiding a repeat of the policy mistakes of the 1930s. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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