США. Treasury blog Contents of the Treasury Notes blog, from www.treasury.gov. http://so-l.ru/news/source/ssha_treasury_blog Thu, 03 Dec 2020 04:01:38 +0300 <![CDATA[Harnessing the Power of Financial Data]]>
For more than 200 years, Treasury has been managing the resources of the Federal government and embracing advancements and cutting-edge practices. Today we have an opportunity to create a more data-driven government that empowers our leaders to make more strategic decisions and provide the public with greater access and insight on how taxpayer money is spent.
The ongoing Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) implementation, in which Treasury is playing a leading role, is providing that opportunity as agencies work to meet new standards that could enable the use of data and analytics.
In 1990, the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (CFO Act) established a vision for federal financial management to “provide for the production of complete, reliable, timely, and consistent financial information for use by the executive branch of the Government and the Congress in the financing, management, and evaluation of Federal programs.” Significant achievements have been made to maintain and report high-quality financial data — but the full vision of the CFO Act is still a work in progress.
The 24 CFO Act agencies have been successful at promoting new accounting and reporting standards, generating auditable financial statements, strengthening internal controls, improving financial management systems and enhancing performance information. However, there is room for growth in the way financial reporting adapts to the evolving information technology landscape.
Through the DATA Act implementation process Treasury has developed a DATA Act Information Model Schema (DAIMS) that links the financial data produced by agency CFOs with other spending data on Federal awards — including grants, loans and procurement data (as well as other related attributes). This new data set includes more than 400 data elements and significantly expands the data available to agency CFOs and other agency leadership. The DAIMS can also be extended to link to other administrative and program data to support data-driven decision-making.
 
A New Vision for Federal Financial Management
 

Treasury’s vision for a 21st century Federal Finance Organization includes five key levels based on leading private sector benchmarks for finance organizations. The first level covers the basics for any finance organization — budget formulation and transaction processing. The second level includes fundamental financial policies and regulatory controls to ensure appropriate accountability.


Most agencies have achieved levels one and two. Levels three and above are where agencies can begin to see the added value in the investment of high-quality data and internal controls. This data can now be managed and used to support decision-making and to improve operations and outcomes.  
 
In addition to leading the government-wide implementation of the DATA Act, Treasury is also required to implement the law as an individual agency. As an implementing agency, Treasury is taking a data management and service delivery perspective, satisfying both internal and external customers who are demanding dynamic visualizations of data, meaningful reports and management dashboards. The DATA Act provides a unique opportunity to provide authoritative and standardized data across the enterprise to meet various needs, which fits into the new vision for Federal Financial Management above. 
 
At Treasury, we are expanding our data analytics and reporting efforts to gain more value from our data. The Department has been working internally to link existing enterprise data management activities to a financial data governance program working across the C suite and internal organizations. Treasury is also envisioning a new financial data service portal that will serve as the central repository for all Treasury financial data where agency leadership will have access to data, tools and resources to conduct program research and visualize the data in new ways, starting with DATA Act related insights. This data infrastructure will allow us to provide greater transparency and also create a more modern 21st century Federal Finance Organization that is a better steward of public resources. We believe that better data leads to better decisions and ultimately a better government.
 
Christina Ho is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Accounting Policy and Financial Transparency and Dorrice Roth is the Deputy Chief Financial Officer at the Department of the Treasury.
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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2020_01_04_harnessing_the_power_of_financial_data Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:19:37 +0300
<![CDATA[Treasury Secretary Lew's Exit Memo: Eight Years of Progress at Treasury and a Look to the Future of American Financial Prosperity]]>  
WASHINGTON –U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew has authored a departure memorandum that recounts the progress and work of the U.S. Department of the Treasury over the last eight years. The memo then outlines Secretary Lew’s visions and goals for the future of the Treasury Department. The Secretary closes his departure memorandum with personal reflections on the importance of bipartisan cooperation, his optimism about America’s future, and his hope that future policymakers will take careful stock of the successes of this Administration as they consider the next steps forward.
 
Please see the memo attached.
 
The full text of the memo is below:
 
 
 
 
Department of the Treasury Exit Memo
 
 
Secretary Jacob J. Lew
 
Cabinet Exit Memo │January 5, 2017

Introduction
 
The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) is the executive agency responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the financial security of the United States.  This role encompasses a broad range of activities, such as advising the President on economic and financial issues, encouraging sustainable economic growth, and fostering improved governance in financial institutions. 
 
Treasury’s mission was challenged like few times before in our nation’s history during the 2008 financial crisis.  As few of us can forget, signs of trouble first emerged in the housing market, which set off a cascade of shocks in 2007 and 2008, including the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, the freezing of credit markets, and the loss of trillions of dollars of wealth held by Americans in their homes, other assets, and businesses.  By the time President Obama took office, the United States was in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression.  The economy was shrinking at its fastest rate in 50 years and shedding more than 800,000 private-sector jobs per month.  Unemployment peaked at 10 percent in 2009, a level not seen in over 25 years.  The auto industry, an embodiment of American ingenuity and economic strength, was teetering on the edge of collapse; the deficit had hit a post-World War II high; and homes in neighborhoods across the United States faced foreclosure. 
 
Though the financial crisis was perhaps the most pressing challenge the country faced in 2008, it was far from the only one.  Health care spending was on an unsustainable path, and millions of Americans lived in fear of facing a significant medical problem without insurance.  Middle-class and working family incomes had stagnated for much of the previous three decades.  Wealth disparities had grown to levels not seen since the 1920s.  And after two major wars in the Middle East and strained relationships in many parts of the world, the standing of the United States around the world was in need of significant repair.
 
We have come a long way as a country since 2008.  In the following pages, I will recount the Administration’s record of progress, with a specific focus on the role Treasury has played.  I will also articulate a vision for the future, and recommend steps to be taken in the coming years to make progress towards that vision.  Finally, I will end with some personal reflections.
 
Eight Years of Progress
Economic Recovery
Over the eight years since President Obama took office amidst the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes, we have seen a sustained economic recovery and a significant decline in the federal budget deficit.  We have cut the unemployment rate in half.  Our economy is more than 10 percent larger than its pre-recession peak.  U.S. businesses have added a total of 15.6 million jobs since private-sector job growth turned positive in early 2010.  Household incomes are rising, with 2015 seeing the fastest one-year growth since the Census Bureau began reporting on household income in 1967.  And our financial system is more stable, safe, and resilient, providing the critical underpinnings for broad-based, inclusive, long-term growth. 
There are many factors that explain why the United States was able to bounce back so strongly from the recession.  First and foremost, I credit the resilience of the American people.  In addition, our policy response to the crisis was immediate and robust.  Led by my predecessor, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, policymakers put in place a wide-ranging strategy to restore economic growth, unlock credit, and return private capital to the financial system, thereby providing broad and vital support to the economy.  In February 2009, just 28 days after taking office, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided powerful fiscal stimulus that resulted in a less severe recession and stronger recovery than we otherwise would have seen.
Investments made through our Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) provided stability to our financial system, and the Automotive Industry Financing Program helped prevent the collapse of the U.S. auto industry.  TARP also included housing initiatives that helped millions of struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure and lower their monthly payments.  These efforts bolstered the housing market and strengthened consumer finances more broadly.  And funds expended under TARP have been repaid in full, at a profit to taxpayers: in total, TARP invested $412 billion in financial institutions, large and small, during the financial crisis, and as of October 2016, these investments have returned $442 billion total cash back to taxpayers. 
 
Critically, we also acted quickly to reform our financial system, working with Congress to enact the most far-reaching and comprehensive set of financial reforms since the Great Depression: the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Wall Street Reform transformed the way the financial system operates, and Treasury and the financial regulators have continued to work together since its passage to implement important reforms such as the Volcker Rule, risk retention, and resolution planning for large, complex financial institutions.  Because of these efforts, our system today is more stable, more transparent, and more consumer-focused.  Wall Street Reform also created the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a body that looks across the entire financial system to identify future threats to financial stability, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog agency that is working hard to protect Americans from unfair, deceptive, or abusive financial practices.
 
The progress we have made on implementing reform has resulted in a safer, stronger, and more stable American financial system—one better positioned to support growth rather than work against it, more likely for consumers to get fair treatment in their interactions with financial institutions, and less prone to major failures of financial firms that can harm Americans on Main Street.  This progress must be sustained through continued follow-through, to avoid allowing a return to the recklessness and abuse that predated the worst global financial crisis of the last 80 years.
A More Inclusive Economy 
Beyond working to bring our economy back from the brink and to spur growth, we also undertook efforts to ensure that more citizens have a fair shot at sharing in our nation’s prosperity.  One of the Administration’s most significant achievements was the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which extended health insurance to millions of Americans who had not previously had it, allowed young adults to stay on the health plans of their parents, barred insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions, and strengthened Medicare’s solvency.  Once the legislation was signed into law, Treasury implemented the law’s many new tax provisions.  Beyond the ACA, the Administration made a number of other key changes to the tax code that has made our tax system significantly fairer and more equitable.
 
Through programs like the Community Development Financial Institution Fund and myRA, and through extensive stakeholder engagement, Treasury has worked to promote access to the financial system for underserved and vulnerable populations.  We also successfully worked with Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to enable Puerto Rico to undergo a financial restructuring.  With continued commitment from policymakers in both the Commonwealth and the United States, this legislation will begin to put Puerto Rico on a fiscally sustainable path so that the 3.5 million Americans living there are not denied essential services and economic opportunity. 
Leading in the Global Economy
As we put into place the financial regulatory framework to prevent future crises in the United States, we also led the international response to the crisis.  We worked through the G-20 to help mobilize $5 trillion in fiscal stimulus, expand the resources of the international financial institutions by $1 trillion, and establish new institutions like the Financial Stability Board to prevent future crises.  Our approach elevated the G-20 as the premier platform for international economic cooperation and put in place a demonstrated mechanism for international response.
 
Following the financial crisis, many countries turned to policies of fiscal austerity, and Treasury vigorously advocated for a more balanced use of policy levers.  Over the next several years, Treasury engaged closely with our partners and through the G-20 and other multilateral bodies to emphasize the need for short-term growth and longer-term structural reforms to put the global economy on stronger footing.  Through our sustained engagement, we achieved a number of commitments from the G-20, including moving away from austerity-only fiscal policy and avoiding competitive currency devaluation. 
 
We have used the G-20 to advance a global growth agenda, and the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue to foster increased bilateral economic coordination and engagement with China.  Our sustained engagement with China has allowed us to exert positive pressure on Chinese exchange rate policy—whereas China once intervened in foreign exchange markets to drive down the value of its currency, in the past year, we have seen China intervene to prevent a rapid depreciation in the renminbi, which would have had negative consequences for the Chinese and global economies.  Treasury also worked to solidify U.S. leadership by modernizing the international economic architecture to ensure that it would remain relevant in a changing world.  In particular, securing the passage of International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota reform sustained U.S. leadership on the global stage.  Our leadership in the IMF in turn enabled us to work through it to promote policies that supported U.S. economic and security objectives, such as economic stability in Ukraine and Greece.
Promoting a Safer World
Treasury has also continued to use its unique financial capabilities to address a variety of national security and foreign policy threats posed by terrorists, criminals and other bad actors.  To address the changing threat posed by terrorism, including the threat posed by ISIL, we have worked with our international partners to deny terrorist financiers, fundraisers, and facilitators access to the international financial system with financial measures and targeted actions. 
 
Treasury’s sanctions against Iran played a critical role in forcing Iran to the table to negotiate a deal that cuts off the country’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.  To hold Russia accountable for its aggression in eastern Ukraine and its occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea, we imposed sanctions that led to tighter financial conditions, weaker confidence, and lower investment in Russia.  We also secured new domestic and multilateral sanctions measures against North Korea in the face of Pyongyang’s continued provocative behavior with regard to nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.  All the while, we have worked to craft a cohesive vision for the use of sanctions, in which sanctions are informed by financial intelligence, strategically designed, and implemented with our public and private partners to focus pressure on bad actors and create clear incentives to end malign behavior, while limiting collateral impact.
 
In the face of emerging cyber threats, we have also made significant progress in coordinating cybersecurity efforts among financial regulators and the private sector, both domestically and internationally, to improve the financial sector’s resilience and to establish best practices for industry and government.     
 
A Vision for the Future  
 
Looking across the next five years, 10 years, and beyond, I see four major goals that mirror the progress above.  Treasury should focus on: (i) continuing to promote more inclusive growth; (ii) moving from recovery to long-term fiscal health, (iii) remaining a leader in the global economy; and (iv) adjusting to the new threats in our world.  Each of these goals brings with it major challenges that we must collectively overcome in order to reach them.
 
Continuing to Promote Inclusive Growth
Through the work of this Administration, the U.S. economy is growing again.  But working families have not shared fully in the benefits of economic growth over the past decade, and there is evidence that our society has undergone structural changes that have fundamentally altered the basic social compact.  It is crucial that the next Administration builds on the work already done to ensure that our prosperity is broadly shared.  There are many aspects to inclusive growth, including: investing in infrastructure to create good middle-class jobs and lay the foundation for future growth, giving workers a stronger voice, enacting progressive tax policies, making quality education more available and affordable, and investing in retraining programs for those who have lost their jobs.  One component most directly within Treasury’s purview is increasing access to the financial system; currently, many low-income and minority families are effectively locked out, operating without a credit card or banking history.  Finding creative ways to increase access to the financial system—such as fostering new technologies—will help individuals and families transfer money and make payments safely and affordably.  Financial inclusion allows people to manage life’s unexpected financial shocks, build long-term financial security, and take advantage of economic opportunities, like starting a business.  Our inclusive growth agenda should not, however, be limited to domestic issues: more than 2.6 billion people live in poverty around the world, and more than two billion people rely solely on cash transactions.  Moving underserved populations from a cash economy to formal banking not only increases their economic opportunity but also strengthens our ability to combat illicit and dangerous finance.
 
Moving from Recovery to Long Term Fiscal Health
The actions of this Administration, and the economic recovery those actions helped support, have sharply reduced deficits since 2009.  However, both the Administration and the Congressional Budget Office project that, absent any changes in policy, the deficit will rise steadily over the next decade and beyond.  Thus, while the actions of this Administration have put the country on a solid fiscal footing today, we must also focus on the long-term fiscal health of our nation.
 
In recent years, the Administration has proposed a combination of smart investments and policy reforms that would keep the deficit under three percent of GDP for the next 10 years and nearly eliminate the fiscal gap over the next 25 years.  Tax reform to curb inefficient tax breaks for the wealthy, close loopholes, and reform the taxation of capital income and financial institutions would make the tax system fairer and lower the deficit.  Comprehensive immigration reform would boost labor force participation, productivity, and ultimately growth, directly addressing key fiscal challenges.  Continued focus on health policy to further improve health care quality and control cost growth remains critical.  This policy vision shows that investments in growth and opportunity are fully compatible with putting the nation’s finances on a strong and sustainable path.  It also shows that responsible deficit reduction can be achieved without endangering vital support to poor Americans or undermining commitments to seniors and workers.
 
Under President Obama’s leadership, there has been substantial economic and fiscal progress, showing what is possible when strategic investment to grow the economy is paired with smart reforms that address the true drivers of long-term fiscal challenges.  While there is some scope for additional borrowing to finance smart investments in the next few years, ever-increasing borrowing is not sustainable as a long-run strategy, particularly when used to finance spending that does not generate higher growth or improvements for the middle class and in the case of deficit-increasing tax cuts, which deepen income and wealth disparities that are already a serious concern.  Instead, the long-term fiscal health of the nation depends on smart investments in the middle class, tax reforms that close loopholes for the wealthy and ensure that everyone plays by the same set of rules, comprehensive immigration reform, and health reforms that build on our progress to date without sacrificing coverage or quality.
 
Remaining a Leader in the Global Economy
The United States must continue its long history of international economic leadership.  Such leadership benefits American workers and families and enables the United States to project its values abroad to achieve its larger foreign policy objectives.  Of course, the world has changed since the creation of our international financial architecture after World War II, and we must change with it.  Perhaps somewhat counterintuitively, our influence internationally will increase if we share the benefits, as well as the responsibilities, of managing the global economic and financial system with emerging economies, such as China.  Our influence, however, cannot be sustained if we either back away or insist on protecting the status quo.
 
But we face a host of challenges.  Our relationship with China is one of the most important in the world.  While we have made much progress over the past eight years, the degree to which China is willing to takes the steps necessary to follow through on commitments to reorient its economy toward more sustainable growth, open up to foreign businesses, and be a partner in global governance, remains to be seen.  As we saw from the example of Chinese exchange rate policy, engagement between the United States and China is an important means of maintaining pressure for China to implement policies that are necessary for China’s own medium and long-term economic health and to create a level playing field for the world economy.
 
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union sent shockwaves through Europe and the world, and we must closely monitor the situation and continue to argue for the benefits of continued integration post-Brexit.  Japan’s economy faces the ongoing challenges of an aging population and high public debt hampering the government’s ability to foster growth.  We must also keep a watchful eye on emerging economies and the unique challenges they face.  In particular, in recent years, we have made progress in our relations with Latin America, particularly with Mexico and Argentina, and we should build on that progress.
 
Adjusting to the New Threats in Our World
With the rise of state-sponsored and lone wolf terrorism, rogue nations, and international strongmen, we must address the reality that we live in a dangerous world.  Making it safer means using every tool available—including the financial tools available to Treasury—to defeat and degrade terrorist organizations like ISIL.  We must continue to leverage our ability to impose crippling sanctions on states and individuals to change behavior.  We must seek to eliminate the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  Cyber attacks on our financial system represent a real threat to our economic and national security, and maintaining vigilant and coordinated efforts to keep pace with and respond to these threats has been and will remain a crucial piece of Treasury’s work.  And we must recognize global climate change for the economic and existential threat that it is and band together with the rest of the world to avert catastrophe. 
 
How to Make Our Vision a Reality
How do we accomplish the goals laid out above?  To be sure, there are a host of paths policymakers might take to do so, but I believe the following steps, which range from specific policy prescriptions to more general advice, are the most immediate. 
Infrastructure Spending
Moving forward, we must redouble our efforts to make investments in our country’s transportation infrastructure, which help create middle-class jobs in the short term and drive broad-based economic growth in the long term.  Indeed, by fixing our aging roads, bridges, and ports, we will help lay a foundation for widely shared economic expansion.  The President’s business tax reform framework, discussed in more detail below, would generate substantial one-time revenues to fund new infrastructure investments.  Paying for these investments by taxing overseas business profits would both be fiscally responsible and would help fix the perception that our tax system is not a level playing field.
 
Continuing to come up with fresh, new ways to deploy capital will help the country achieve these goals.  Effective partnerships between government and the private sector can play an important role in developing innovative solutions that efficiently leverage resources.  And taking advantage of historically low interest rates to fund high-return public investments is simply smart fiscal policy.  This Administration has long advocated for the creation of a national infrastructure bank, which would provide critical financing and technical support to foster public-private partnerships in U.S. infrastructure and establish a predictable source of long-term financing that would allow U.S. infrastructure to be consistently improved.
Business Tax Reform
Over the last eight years, Congress and the Administration have taken important steps to make the tax code fairer, support working families, and roll back unnecessary and unaffordable tax cuts for high-income families.  In addition, using its administrative tools, the Administration has made substantial progress over the past eight years in combatting abusive tax practices.  However, our business tax system remains in need of reform.  As I have emphasized repeatedly throughout my time as Treasury Secretary, only Congress can enact business tax reform, which is necessary to remove incentives for businesses to relocate overseas, raise one-time revenues to promote infrastructure spending, and simplify tax compliance for smaller businesses.
 
President Obama’s proposed plan for business tax reform sets out a framework for modernizing our business tax system.  Among other elements, it would prevent companies from using excessive leverage in the United States to reduce their tax burden, impose a minimum tax abroad to help fight the global race to the bottom, impose a one-time tax on unrepatriated foreign profits, and reform the taxation of financial and insurance industry products.  It also would close loopholes and special credits and deductions to lower rates without shifting the tax burden to individuals.  Enacting such a plan would enhance our competitiveness and create an environment in which business rather than tax considerations drive decision-making.  The President’s framework is also fiscally responsible, ensuring that business tax reform does not add to deficits over the long-term.  I am hopeful that this framework will help to equip the new Congress to take responsible action on business tax reform.
 
Housing Finance Reform
Fixing our housing finance system remains the major unfinished work of post-financial crisis reform.  Though the housing market has made significant strides thanks to efforts on the part of the Administration to help struggling homeowners, stabilize the housing finance system, and restore broader economic growth, many homeowners and neighborhoods continue to struggle.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain in conservatorship and continue to rely on taxpayer support.  Only legislation can comprehensively address the ongoing shortcomings of the housing finance system.  A starting point for such legislation should be the principles President Obama laid out in 2013, which stressed a clearly-defined role for the government to promote broad access to consumer-friendly mortgages in good times and bad.  While private capital should bear the majority of the risks in mortgage lending, reform also must provide more American households with greater and more sustainable access to affordable homes to rent or own. 
Global Economic Integration
Global economic integration, including high-standards trade, leads to better economic outcomes than isolation and protectionism.  High-standard trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership can expand U.S. economic growth, open markets for American exports, and strengthen labor and environmental safeguards so that American workers can compete on a level playing field.  But economic uncertainty, both domestically and abroad, threatens this framework.  Whether driven by trade, technological advances, or the changing structure of the markets for labor and capital, these anxieties are real and deeply felt.  In order to continue to enjoy the benefits of an integrated world, we need to focus on policies that address the real issues of inequality, such as slowing wage growth and increasing disparities in pay, to ensure that the benefits of trade are broadly felt.   
 
Strengthening the rules, alone, is not enough.  To preserve this important engine of economic growth and international integration the United States and other advanced economies must also design and implement policies—including fiscal and tax policies—that advance the cause of inclusive, sustainable, and broad-based growth.  Not all countries have the fiscal space sufficient to meet these needs, but after years of urging by the United States, policies of austerity are one-by-one giving way to policies designed to grow demand and improve incomes.  The United States must continue to be an active voice in the global discussion of these issues. 
 
The United States must also maintain its leadership in the international financial architecture and ensure that the U.S.-led international financial system is adapting to best preserve U.S. interest in a changing world.  This includes continued governance reforms of the IMF and multilateral development banks to reflect a changing world.  Clear global rules create opportunities and incentives for innovation, invest, and work, which are critical to the United States and drive economic progress in other regions of the world.
Continued Engagement with Challenging Partners 
Just as global economic integration has fueled economic growth, that integration—and our economic strength—provides us with additional tools to advance our priorities on the international stage.  We should continue to use these tools judiciously to maintain pressure on those countries that take aggressive and destabilizing actions, such as Russia and North Korea, and provide sanctions relief when the targeted malign behavior changes, as with Iran and Burma.  And, as we chart new courses with other countries, such as Cuba, we should be mindful of how we can use our economic tools to create the conditions for a changed relationship. 
 
We must always take care to avoid the overuse of sanctions, particularly our most unilateral tools like secondary sanctions that extend to non-U.S. persons.  If we overuse these powerful tools, we risk lessening their impact when they are most needed and ultimately threaten our central role in the global financial system. 
Looking Forward with Optimism
We have learned the hard way that deadlock does not produce good results—government shutdowns and near default on our debt cost the United States both economically and in standing around the world.  It did not work in the 1990s, and it did not work over these past eight years.
What has worked is finding opportunities in the sometimes quiet periods when bipartisan cooperation can lead to honorable compromise.  In recent years, we have seen that targeted budget agreements could pave the way for more orderly and economically beneficial outcomes.  We have seen that, on issues like creating a path forward for Puerto Rico and multi-year funding for our surface transportation programs, bipartisan compromise is still possible.
But there is much more that requires this kind of progress.  Treasury plays a critical role in finding areas where bipartisan solutions are possible.  In a period when many thought little could be accomplished legislatively, we reached agreement on IMF Quota Reform, an approach to deal with Puerto Rico, and a permanent extension of expansions to the earned income tax credit and child tax credits that will reduce the extent or severity of poverty for millions of families with children.  We have also used our existing authorities to limit corporate tax inversions, shed greater light on beneficial ownership to limit tax avoidance, realize tax parity for same-sex spouses, and opened relations with Cuba.  And we have used our sanctions authorities to bring Iran to the negotiating table and limit the resources available to terrorist regimes and groups.
I am proud of the record we have built over the past eight years.  But during calmer economic times, policy makers are often tempted to roll back regulations, weaken reforms, and reduce oversight.  I hope that future policymakers will take careful stock of the successes of this Administration as they consider the next steps forward.  I remain an optimist about America’s future and wish the next team entrusted with responsibility for governing much success as it tackles the many challenges that remain and the new challenges that will present themselves over the coming years. 
Margaret Mulkerrin is the Press Assistant at the U.S. Department of Treasury. 
 
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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2020_01_04_treasury_secretary_lew_s_exit_memo_eigh Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:19:37 +0300
<![CDATA[The Economic Security of Older Women]]> Today, the Office of Economic Policy at the Treasury Department released the fourth in a series of briefs exploring the economic security of American households. This brief​ focuses on the economic security of older women. In this brief, we ask: Are older women at greater risk of poverty or being unable to manage their expenses than other populations? Are there specific groups of women at risk? What are the implications for policy?

Compared with men, we find that elderly women are much more likely to be economically insecure. We attribute this finding to a variety of factors. Women live longer than men, meaning they have to finance a longer retirement and that they are more likely to reach an age in which they must finance disability costs.  In addition, women tend to have lower lifetime earnings than men. Finally, women are more likely than men to live alone and thus are less likely to live with someone with whom to share economic risks. 

In this brief, we assess economic insecurity in a number of ways but focus on two measures: the poverty rate and the “overextended” rate—the share of the population whose spending exceeds what it can afford based on its income and annuitized wealth. We view this latter measure as reflecting economic insecurity, because elderly women who are overextended and on fixed incomes must reduce spending to live within their means. For women with low levels of consumption, this could entail cutting back on necessities like food and medicine. Comparing different measures of economic security, we find that the overextended share of the female population is 29 percent, far higher than the poverty rate of 12 percent. The implication is that economic insecurity is broader than the poverty rate implies.

We find that single women are far more economically insecure on all measures than married women and that widowhood dramatically increases the likelihood of becoming insecure relative to remaining married. Widowhood is associated with a large loss in income and wealth; and while widows experience a large drop in household spending at widowhood, they continue to cut spending at rates faster than single women and married households. 

We also find that disability is associated with economic insecurity. The median disabled woman’s household assets (including non-liquid assets like housing) are sufficient only to finance six months in a nursing home, and the median disabled woman’s household has financial wealth sufficient to cover less than half a month of nursing home expenses.

Women who remain married throughout their elderly years, on the other hand, do not experience high rates of economic insecurity. And holding constant marital status and disability status, we do not observe sharp increases in economic insecurity as women age. Notably, even though the poverty rate rises for women as they age, the overextended rate falls as women rely more on wealth to support themselves.  

All told, our findings suggest that public policy should focus on specific risks associated with aging, particularly living alone and living with a disability. We note that married couples might benefit from shifting more of their wealth from periods in which both spouses are alive to periods in which only one spouse is alive. Such an outcome could be accomplished in the private sector with greater use of financial products with survivor benefits. Experts have also suggested ways that public policy could help address the challenge, such as by restructuring Social Security to increase survivor benefits. Looking at disability, we note that while Medicaid and private long-term care insurance provide protection for some households, there is still a large unmet need that is apparent when looking at the economic security risks posed by disability.

Karen Dynan is the Assistant Secretary of Economic Policy at the Department of the Treasury.

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2020_01_04_the_economic_security_of_older_women Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:19:36 +0300
<![CDATA[One in Five 2014 Marketplace Consumers was a Small Business Owner or Self-Employed]]> Independent Workers Are Almost Three Times More Likely To Rely on Marketplace Coverage than Other Workers

 
Today, Treasury released a report with new data on sources of health insurance coverage for small business owners and self-employed workers. These data show that the Affordable Care Act (ACA’s) Health Insurance Marketplaces are playing an especially crucial role in providing health coverage to entrepreneurs and other independent workers.
 
Prior to the Affordable Care Act, workers without employer-sponsored health insurance often lacked options for affordable coverage. Not only did high uninsured rates impede access to care and worsen financial security, but the risk of ending up without health insurance coverage prevented some individuals from striking out on their own. Experts considered “job lock,” or individuals’ need to stay in an employment situation to maintain health coverage, a significant impediment to entrepreneurship. To help address these challenges, the ACA’s Marketplaces were designed to offer portable health insurance coverage to small business owners and other independent workers, a growing segment of the economy.
 
One in five 2014 Marketplace consumers was a small business owner or self-employed
 
New data included in today’s Treasury Department report on alternative work arrangements show that small business owners and self-employed workers are taking advantage of the opportunity to purchase health coverage through the Marketplaces.[1] In 2014, 1.4 million Marketplace consumers were self-employed, small business owners, or both, indicating that about one in five 2014 Marketplace consumers was a small business owner or self-employed. Indeed, among the 5.3 million workers who purchased Marketplace coverage for themselves (excluding their children or non-working spouses), about 28 percent were workers whose income was not primarily earned from wages paid by an employer.
 
In fact, small business owners and self-employed individuals were nearly three times as likely to purchase Marketplace coverage as other workers. Nearly 10 percent of small business owners and more than 10 percent of gig economy workers got coverage through the Marketplace in 2014. Among small business owners and other independent workers, those with annual incomes below $65,000 were the most likely to rely on the Marketplace for health insurance. Middle- and lower-income Americans who buy coverage through the Marketplace are eligible for tax credits to help keep coverage affordable. About 65 percent of small business owners and 69 percent of all self-employed or independent workers have incomes below $65,000.
 
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of people who signed up for Marketplace coverage increased by around 50 percent. And enrollment increased further in 2016, and is poised to rise again in 2017. Marketplace coverage among independent workers has almost certainly risen as well. HHS is also partnering with outside companies that support freelance workers, entrepreneurs, and start-ups to reach more independent workers with information about Marketplace coverage and financial assistance.
 


Geographic patterns in small business owners’ and independent workers’ health coverage
 
Today’s report includes detailed state-by-state data on Marketplace participation among entrepreneurs and independent workers. In all 50 states and D.C., thousands of small business owners and independent workers bought Marketplace coverage in 2014. Of note:
 
·         The ten states with the highest share of small business owners relying on the Marketplace for coverage were Vermont, Idaho, Florida, Montana, Maine, California, New Hampshire, Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, and North Carolina.
 
·         The 10 states with the largest number of small business owners with Marketplace coverage were California, Florida, Texas, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Washington, and Virginia.
 

 
Adam Looney is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis at the U.S. Department of Treasury. Kathryn Martin is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.
 


[1] The Treasury report defines small business owners as Schedule C filers whose business activities (measured by expenses and gross receipts) exceed certain de minimis thresholds (a minimum of $5,000 of business expenses and either $15,000 of gross receipts or $10,000 of business expenses). Self-employed workers are defined as individuals who earn at least 85 percent of their earnings from operating a sole-proprietorship. “Gig economy workers” are those whose self-employment income derives in part or in whole from activities conducted through an online platform. 
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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2020_01_04_one_in_five_2014_marketplace_consumers_w Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:19:35 +0300
<![CDATA[Unveiling the Future of Liberty]]>

Earlier today, I was honored to join Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin to unveil designs for the 2017 American Liberty Gold Coin.

The unveiling not only marked a historic milestone for the allegorical Lady Liberty, who has been featured on American coinage since the late 1790s, but also served to kick-off the Mint’s 225th anniversary—a year-long public awareness campaign about its mission, facilities and employees.

I am very proud of the fact that the United States Mint is rooted in the Constitution. Our founding fathers realized the critical need for our fledgling nation to have a respected monetary system, and over the last 225 years, the Mint has never failed in its mission to enable America’s growth and stability by protecting assets entrusted to us and manufacturing coins and medals to facilitate national commerce.

We have chosen “Remembering our Past, Embracing the Future” as the Mint’s theme for our 225th Anniversary year. This beautiful coin truly embodies that theme. The coin demonstrates our roots in the past through such traditional elements as the inscriptions United States of America, Liberty, E Pluribus Unum and In God We Trust. We boldly look to the future by casting Liberty in a new light, as an African-American woman wearing a crown of stars, looking forward to ever brighter chapters in our Nation’s history bookThe 2017 American Liberty Gold Coin is the first in a series of 24-karat gold coins the United States Mint will issue biennially. These coins will feature designs that depict an allegorical Liberty in a variety of contemporary forms including designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Indian-Americans among others to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States.​




2017 American Liberty Gold Coin obverse (left) and reverse (right). (United States Mint Photos)

 

Rhett Jeppson is the Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Mint.    

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2020_01_04_unveiling_the_future_of_liberty Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:19:34 +0300
<![CDATA[2016 Financial Report of the U.S. Government]]> Today, Treasury released the 2016 US Financial Report, which can be found here: https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/finrep/fr/fr_index.htm

Please see the Secretary's letter below:

 
January 12, 2017
 
A Message from the Secretary
 
 The annual Financial Report of the U.S. Government provides to the public a comprehensive overview of the Government’s current financial position, as well as critical insight into our long term fiscal outlook. The Fiscal Year 2016 Financial Report, the final U.S. Financial Report of the Obama Administration, reflects an economy that has come a long way since 2008, with sustained private sector job growth and increasing vitality.
 
Under President Obama’s leadership, there has been substantial economic and fiscal progress, showing what is possible when strategic investment is paired with smart reforms. Labor market conditions continue to improve, we have added millions of jobs to the economy and GDP has grown steadily. Globally, the United States remains a driver of steady economic growth.
 
In Fiscal Year 2016, the Nation’s economic gains contributed to increased revenues and sustainable deficit financing for the next decade. The Government’s estimated long-term fiscal gap continues to be reduced by the provisions of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, Budget Control Act of 2011, and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013. These and other measures support our economy, allow our government to operate more efficiently, and support long term fiscal health.
 
This Administration’s policies have created the space to address our country’s long term fiscal challenges; however, near term policies that reduce revenues or increase spending, such as through changes to our tax code or the Affordable Care Act, could increase the size of the fiscal gap and force more dramatic adjustments in later years. We must ensure that our prosperity is shared by all Americans, not just those at the top. I am proud of the work we have done as a country over the past eight years to address our economic challenges and am pleased to share this strong report.
 
 
Jacob J. Lew
 
Margaret Mulkerrin is the Press Assistant at the U.S. Department of Treasury.
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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2020_01_04_2016_financial_report_of_the_u_s_govern Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:19:33 +0300
<![CDATA[Secretary Lew Sends Letter to 115th Congress on Puerto Rico]]>

January 17, 2017

 

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Majority Leader

United States Senate

Washington, DC  20510

 

Dear Mr. Leader: 

As the 115th Congress begins, we write to underscore the need for additional legislation early in this session to address the economic and fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico.  The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) provided Puerto Rico with important fiscal oversight and debt restructuring tools, and now the Oversight Board and Puerto Rico’s new Governor must take the critical next steps required by this federal legislation.  Working with the new Governor, the Oversight Board now must certify a Fiscal Plan and set a path to comprehensively restructure the debt before the expiration of PROMESA’s automatic stay.   Treasury has continued to provide both the Oversight Board and the new Governor with technical assistance as requested, and will remain able to do so after the transition to the next Administration.  

Despite the important progress achieved to date with bipartisan support, the work is not done.  As Puerto Rico moves forward on these next steps, Congress must enact measures recommended by both Republicans and Democrats that fix Puerto Rico’s inequitable health care financing structure and promote sustained economic growth.  Without congressional action to address these issues, Puerto Rico’s return to growth and opportunity will be a significant challenge.   Most urgently, Congress should address Puerto Rico’s “Medicaid cliff” funding issue before April as recommended last month by the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico.  Failure to do so would jeopardize health care for up to 900,000 poor U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico.

CONGRESSIONAL TASK FORCE REPORT

On December 20, the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico, established by PROMESA, released its Final Report.  The bipartisan report provides an overview of the economic challenges facing Puerto Rico and a series of potential solutions that, if crafted well and enacted quickly, are necessary for a sustainable economic recovery.  It is important that Congress not only turn ideas into action, but in doing so, address Puerto Rico’s significant remaining economic and social challenges in meaningful ways to help put Puerto Rico on a path of sustained economic growth.

As the report acknowledges, Puerto Rico faces an imminent shortfall in health care funding that could leave up to 900,000 Americans without coverage if Congress does not act in the near future.  Puerto Rico’s already vulnerable health care system is stretched further by a Zika outbreak that, as of January 4, has resulted in over 34,000 cases, and will affect numerous women, children, and families for years to come.  It is time to provide a long-term solution to Puerto Rico’s historically inadequate federal Medicaid financing, which threatens the viability of Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program and worsens Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis.  If Congress fails to craft a long-term solution, immediate action is still needed to ensure full fiscal year 2018 financing to avoid the “Medicaid cliff” identified in the report.  Without action before April, Puerto Rico’s ability to execute contracts for Fiscal Year 2018 with its managed care organizations will be threatened, thereby putting at risk beginning July 1, 2017 the health care of up to 900,000 poor U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico.

Additionally, Puerto Rico continues to suffer from double digit unemployment and a labor force participation rate that is only two-thirds that of the U.S. average.  A federally-financed, locally-administered Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in Puerto Rico would create incentives for work and increase participation in the formal economy – just as it has done for decades in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Instead of recommending the immediate enactment of an EITC, the Task Force only suggested Congress further explore the proposal.  We strongly encourage Congress to enact this powerful economic driver to bolster Puerto Rico’s future.  Our analysis of the situation over the last several years demonstrates that an EITC would be the most effective and powerful tool to address these structural challenges to economic growth.

Beyond those two major issues, the Task Force recommended a number of other policies that we agree should be enacted.  First, we appreciate the bipartisan recommendation for Congress to continue authorizing Treasury to provide technical assistance to Puerto Rico.  Furthermore, while we recommend a different approach to expand the Child Tax Credit to more Puerto Rican families, one that is locally administered, we welcome the Task Force recommendation for Congress to expand the Child Tax Credit in Puerto Rico, to the extent it is well-designed and supplements an EITC program for Puerto Rico.  We support the Task Force’s acknowledgment of the importance of data in benchmarking economic growth and fiscal developments in Puerto Rico and the recommendations to improve data quality and timeliness.  Finally, we are pleased with the recommendations on small business incentives, and the need to include Puerto Rico in funding and training programs that address Puerto Rico’s differential treatment in some Federal programs.  It is time for Congress to move quickly to put these recommendations into law.

Last summer, Republicans and Democrats in Congress took decisive action in PROMESA to help improve Puerto Rico’s fiscal position by establishing an independent oversight board and providing it with comprehensive debt restructuring tools.  As you know, these tools were provided to Puerto Rico as an alternative to a federal bailout and provide Puerto Rico’s government and the Oversight Board with comprehensive authorities to address the debt crisis. Members of Congress now must work together quickly to enact well-crafted legislation to encourage growth and opportunity for our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.

The Treasury Department and the Department of Health and Human Services stand committed to working with you to achieving those goals throughout the remainder of the transition to the next Administration.

                                                                   Sincerely,

 

 

Jacob J. Lew                                       Sylvia M. Burwell

Secretary                                             Secretary

Department of the Treasury                Department of Health and Human Services

 

Identical letter sent to:

            The Honorable Charles E. Schumer

            The Honorable Paul D. Ryan

            The Honorable Nancy Pelosi​​​

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2020_01_04_secretary_lew_sends_letter_to_115th_cong Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:19:32 +0300
<![CDATA[A Comparison between the College Scorecard and Mobility Report Cards]]> Introduction
 
In 2015, the Department of Education launched the College Scorecard, a vast database of student outcomes at specific colleges and universities developed from a variety of administrative data sources. The Scorecard provides the most comprehensive and accurate information available on the post-enrollment outcomes of students, like whether they get a job, the rate at which they repay their loans, and how much they earn.
 
While labor-market success is certainly not the end-all-be-all of higher education, the notion that a college education is a ticket to a good job and a pathway to economic opportunity is intrinsic to the tax benefits and financial support provided by federal and state governments, to the willingness of parents and families to shoulder the burden of college’s high costs, and to the dreams of millions of students. More than 86% percent of freshmen say that “to be able to get a better job” is a “very important” reason for going to college.[1]
 
That is why the College Scorecard is a breakthrough—for the first time, students have access to detailed and reliable information on the economic outcomes of students after leaving college, including the vast majority of colleges that are non-selective or otherwise fall between the cracks of other information providers.
 
The data show that at every type of post-secondary institution, the differences in post-college earnings across institutions are profound. Some students attend institutions where many students don’t finish, or that don’t lead to good jobs.   
 
Moreover, the analysis behind the Scorecard suggested not only that there are large differences across institutions in their economic outcomes, but that these differences are relevant to would-be students. For instance, the evidence in the Scorecard showed that when a low-income student goes to a school with a high completion rates and good post-college earnings, she is likely to do as well as anyone else there. While there are large differences between where rich and poor kids are likely to apply and attend, there is little difference in their outcomes after leaving school: the poorest aid recipients earn almost as much as the richest borrowers. This pattern suggests, at least, that low-income students are not mismatched or underqualified for the schools they currently attend. But it is also consistent with powerful evidence from academic studies that show that when marginal students get a shot at a higher-quality institution their graduation rates and post-college earnings converge toward those of their new peers (Zimmerman 2014, Goodman et al. 2015).
 
Hence, the Scorecard is likely to provide useful information for students, policymakers, and administrators on important measures of post-college success, access to college by disadvantaged students, and economic mobility.  Indeed, the College Scorecard shows that great economic outcomes are not exclusive to Ivy-League students. Many institutions have both good outcomes and diverse origins—institutions whose admissions policies, or lack thereof, take in disproportionate shares of poor kids and lift them up the economic ladder.
 
Nevertheless, the design of the Scorecard required making methodological choices to produce the data on a regular basis, and making it simple and accessible required choosing among specific measures intended to be representative. Some of these choices were determined by data availability or other considerations.  Some choices have been criticized (e.g. Whitehurst and Chingos 2015). Other valuable indicators could not be reliably produced on a regular basis or in a way that evolved over time as college or student outcomes changed.
 
In part to address these issues, we supported the research that lead to the creation of Mobility Report Cards, which provide a test of the validity and robustness of the College Scorecard and an expansion of its scope.
 
Mobility Report Cards (MRCs) attempt to answer the question “which colleges in America contribute the most to helping children climb the income ladder?” and characterize rates of intergeneration income mobility at each college in the United States. The project draws on de-identified administrative data covering over 30 million college students from 1999 to 2013, and focuses on students enrolled between the ages of 18 and 22, for whom both their parents’ income information and their own subsequent labor-market outcomes can be observed.  MRCs provide new information on access to colleges of children from different family backgrounds, the likelihood that low-income students at different colleges move up in the income distribution, and trends in access over time.
 
Background on College Scorecard
 
The College Scorecard provides detailed information on the labor-market outcomes of financial-aid recipients post enrollment, including average employment status and measures of earnings for employed graduates; outcomes for specific groups of students, like students from lower-income families, dependent students, and for women and men; and measures of those outcomes early and later in their post-college careers. These outcome measures are specific to the students receiving federal aid, and to the institutions those students attend. And the outcome measures are constructed using technical specifications similar to those used to measure other student outcomes, like the student loan Cohort Default Rate, which allows for a consistent framework for measurement while allowing institution outcomes to evolve from cohort to cohort.
 
The technical paper accompanying the College Scorecard spelled out the important properties and limitations of the federal data used in the Scorecard, regarding the share of students covered, the institutions covered, the construction of cohorts, the level of aggregation of statistics, and how the earnings measures were used.
 
These choices were made subject to certain constraints on disclosure, statistical reliability, reproducibility, and operational capacity, and with specific goals of making the data regularly available (updating it on an annual basis), using measurement concepts similar to those used in other education-related areas (like student loan outcomes), and providing measures that could evolve over time as characteristics of schools and student outcomes changed. These constraints imposed tradeoffs and required choices. Moreover, the research team producing the MRCs was not bound by certain of these methodological requirements or design goals, and thus could make alternative choices. Despite making different choices, however, the analysis below shows that on balance the outcome measures common to both projects are extremely similar.
 
In brief, the Scorecard estimates are based on data from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) covering undergraduate students receiving federal aid.  NSLDS data provides information on certain characteristics of students, the calendar time and student’s reported grade level when they first received aid, and detailed information on the institution they attended (such as the 6- and 8-digit Office of Postsecondary Education Identification number OPEID). These data and identifiers are regularly used as the basis for reporting institution-specific student outcomes, like the Cohort Default Rate or disbursements of federal aid.  For purposes of constructing economic outcomes using these data, all undergraduate aid recipients were assigned an entry cohort—either the year they first received aid if a first-year college student, or an imputation for their entry year based on the year they were first aided and their academic level. (For instance, if a student self-reported entering their second undergraduate year in the first year they received aid, they would be assigned a cohort year for the previous year.[2]) If a student attended more than one institution as an undergraduate, that student was included in the cohorts of each institution (i.e. their outcomes were included in the average outcomes of each institution—just as is done with the Cohort Default Rate). These data were linked to information from administrative tax and education data at specific intervals post-entry (e.g. 6, 8, and 10 years after the cohort entry year). Adjacent cohorts were combined (e.g. entry cohorts in 2000 and 2001 were linked to outcomes in 2010 and 2011, respectively).  Individuals who are not currently in the labor market (defined as having zero earnings) are excluded. And institution-by-cohort specific measures like mean or median earnings and the fraction of students that earn more than $25,000 (among those working), were constructed for the cohorts (e.g. mean earnings for non-enrolled, employed aid recipients ten years after entry for the combined 2000 and 2001 cohorts). Each year, the sample was rolled forward one year, with the earlier cohort being dropped and a new cohort being added, allowing the sample to evolve over time.
 
This focus on aid recipients is natural for producing estimates related to aid outcomes, like student debt levels or the ratio of debt to earnings. Moreover, these data are regularly used to produce institution-specific accountability measures, like the Cohort Default Rate, which are familiar to stakeholders and authorized and regularly used to report institution-specific outcomes. Constructing the sample based on entry year and rolling forward one year allowed for comparisons within schools over time, to assess improvement or the effects of other changes on student outcomes.
 
The focus of and choices underlying the Scorecard also had several potential disadvantages, which were noted in the technical paper or by reviewers offering constructive criticism (e.g. Whitehurst and Chingos 2015).  These limitations, criticisms, and omissions of the Scorecard include the following specific to the methodology and data limitations. 
 
First, the Scorecard’s sample of students includes only federal student aid recipients. While these students are an obvious focus of aid policies, and comprise a majority of students at many institutions, high-income students whose families cover full tuition are excluded from the analysis. Moreover, schools with more generous financial aid often have a smaller share of students on federal financial aid, implying that the share and type of students included in the Scorecard vary across colleges.
 
Unfortunately, the information needed to assign students to a specific entry cohort at a specific educational institution and to report institution-specific data is not available at the same degree of reliability and uniformity for non-federal-aid recipients.  For instance, Form 1098-T (used to administer tax credits for tuition paid) may not identify specific institutions or campuses (e.g. within a state university system) and does not report information on the academic level or entry year of the student. In addition, certain disclosure standards prevented the publication of institution-specific data. Estimates based on aggregated statistics (as are used in the Mobility Report Cards) include an element of (deliberate) uncertainty in the outcomes, and subjectivity in terms estimation methodology.
 
Second, FAFSA family income may not be a reliable indicator of access or opportunity. FAFSA family income is measured differently depending on whether students are dependent or independent; it is missing for many that do not receive aid; and it can be misleading for those who are independent borrowers. Unfortunately, information on family background is generally only available for FAFSA applicants (aid recipients) who are dependents at the time of application. Mobility Report Cards provide a more comprehensive and uniform measure of family income, but only for the cohorts of students they are able to link back to their parents (e.g. those born after 1979.)
 
Mobility Report Cards
 
The above factors raised concerns about the Scorecard’s reliability and usefulness to stakeholders. In an effort to assess the validity and robustness of Scorecard measures using an alternative sample and with more consistent definitions of family income and more outcomes, we supported the analysis behind the study “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility in the U.S.” (Chetty, Friedman, Saez, Turner, and Yagan 2017).
 
Perhaps most importantly, the Mobility Report Card (MRC) uses records from the Treasury Department on tuition-paying students in conjunction with Pell-grant records from the Department of Education in order to construct nearly universal attendance measures at all U.S. colleges between the ages of 18 and 22. Thus the MRC sample of students is more  comprehensive of this population relative to the Scorecard. However, older students are generally not included in the MRC sample and certain institutions cannot be separately identified in the MRC sample. Furthermore, the MRC methodology relies on producing estimates of institutional outcomes rather than producing actual data on institution outcomes. At certain institutions, particularly those that enroll a disproportionate share of older students (such as for-profit and community colleges) and where a large share students receive Title IV aid, the Scorecard provides a more comprehensive sample of student outcomes.[3]
 
Another area of difference is that the MRC organizes its analysis around entire birth cohorts who can be linked to parents in their adolescence. It then measures whether and where each member of the birth cohort attends college. By following full birth cohorts, cross-college comparisons of adult earnings in the MRC measure earnings at the same age (32-34), unlike the Scorecard which measures adult earnings across colleges at different points in the lifecycle, depending on when the students attended the college.  The advantage of the MRC approach is that it allows a comprehensive analysis of the outcomes of the entire birth cohort at regular intervals.  However, the disadvantage mentioned above is that there is no information on older cohorts born prior to 1980.
 
In addition, the MRC includes zero-earners in its earnings measures, whereas the Scorecard excludes them from their measures of earnings outcomes.[4] Because it is not possible to differentiate individuals who are involuntarily unemployed (e.g. who were laid off from a job) from those who are out of the labor force by choice (in school, raising children, or retired), the Scorecard focused on measuring earnings specifically for those who clearly were participating in the labor market.
 
Finally, family income in the MRC is measured consistently across cohorts using a detailed and relatively comprehensive measure of household income: total pre-tax income at the household level averaged between the kid ages of 15 and 19, as reflected on the parents’ tax forms.
 
The design choices made in developing the MRC come at the cost of published statistics not being exact and instead being granular estimates (see Chetty Friedman Saez Turner Yagan 2016) and of not being as easily replicable over time. However, the MRC’s design addresses many of the critiques made of the Scorecard. If the critiques of the Scorecard are quantitatively important, one should find that the MRC and Scorecard values differ substantially. In other words, the MRC data provide an estimate of how much the data constraints and methodological choices affect the data quality.
 
Comparison of the College Scorecard and Mobility Report Cards
 
The most basic test of the robustness of the Scorecard to the variations embodied in the MRC is to compare the main Scorecard adult earnings measure—median earnings of students ten years after they attend a college—with the analogous measure from the MRC: median earnings in 2014 (age 32-34) of the 1980-1982 birth cohort by college. For shorthand, we refer to these measures as Scorecard median earnings and MRC median earnings, respectively.
 
Figure 1 plots MRC median earnings versus Scorecard median earnings.[5] Both median earnings measures are plotted in thousands of 2015 dollars. Overlaid on the dots is the regression line on the underlying college-level data.
 
 


Figure 1
figure1-median-earnings.png
 
The graph shows an extremely tight, nearly-one-for-one relationship: a slope of 1.12 with an R2 of 0.92. Visually one can see that not only does each extra thousand dollars of Scorecard median earnings typically translate into an extra thousand dollars of MRC median earnings, but the levels line up very closely as well. Hence across the vast majority of colleges, Scorecard median earnings are very close to MRC median earnings.
 
The close correspondence between MRC median earnings and Scorecard median earnings can also be seen when examining college-level comparison lists. For example, among colleges with at least 500 students, almost exactly the same colleges appear in the top rankings using either measure.  (This is natural given the very high R2 reported in Figure 1.) Hence, the Scorecard and MRC share a very tight relationship.
In unreported analysis, we find that two offsetting effects tend to explain this very tight relationship between Scorecard median earnings and MRC median earnings. On the one hand, the MRC’s inclusion of students who earn nothing as adults somewhat reduces each college’s median adult earnings. On the other hand, the MRC’s inclusion of students from high-income families somewhat increases each college’s median adult earnings, as students from high-income families are somewhat more likely to earn high incomes as adults. The two competing effects tend to offset each other in practice, yielding MRC median earnings that are quite close to Scorecard median earnings.
 
While some schools are outliers, in the sense that the measures differ, those examples are often readily explained by differences in methodological choices. For instances, because the Scorecard conditions on having positive earnings, schools where an unusually high share of students voluntarily leave the labor force have different outcomes in the MRC than the Scorecard. The other important contributor to outliers is the MRC’s restriction to students enrolled between ages 18 and 22, which tends to exclude many older, mid-career workers. These individuals tend both to be employed, often have relatively high earnings, and tend to enroll at for-profit schools (or other schools aimed at providing mid-career credentials). The Scorecard includes these students, whereas the MRC tends to exclude them.
 
Conclusion
 
The College Scorecard was created to provide students, families, educators, and policymakers with new information on the outcomes of students attending each college in the United States, and improving the return on federal tax and expenditure programs. Mobility Report Cards expand the scope of the information on the outcomes and the characteristics of students attending American colleges. Our analysis finds a very high degree of agreement at the college level between Scorecard median adult earnings and Mobility Report Card median adult earnings, suggesting that the Scorecard is a reliable tool measuring the outcomes of students and institutions that benefit from federal student aid and tax expenditures.
References
 
Chetty, Raj, John N. Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, and Danny Yagan. “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility in the U.S.”. (2016).
 
Goodman, Joshua, Michael Hurwitz, and Jonathan Smith. “Access to Four-Year Public Colleges and Degree Completion.” Journal of Labor Economics (2017).
 
Whitehurst, Grover J. and Matthew M. Chingos. “Deconstructing and Reconstructing the College Scorecard.” Brookings Working Paper (2015).
 
Zimmerman, Seth D. "The returns to college admission for academically marginal students." Journal of Labor Economics 32.4 (2014): 711-754.
 
Adam Looney, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis at the US Department of Treasury.

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/rampage/wp/2015/02/17/why-do-americans-go-to-college-first-and-foremost-they-want-better-jobs
[2] This assignment was capped at two years, so that students reported entering their third, fourth, or fifth year were assigned a cohort two years prior.
[3] For instance, in the 2002 Scorecard entry cohort, 42 percent of students were over age 22 when they first received aid.    
[4] The Scorecard data base does include the fraction of borrowers without earnings, which allows for the computation of unconditional mean earnings.
[5] We also restrict to colleges with at least 100 MRC students on average across the 1980-1982 birth cohorts and to colleges that have observations in both the Scorecard and the MRC. For MRC colleges that are groups of Scorecard colleges, we use the count-weighted mean of Scorecard mean earnings across colleges within a group. See Chetty Friedman Saez Turner Yagan (2016) for grouping details.
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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2020_01_04_a_comparison_between_the_college_scoreca Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:19:31 +0300
<![CDATA[The Economic Security of American Households]]> Issue Brief Four: The Distribution and Evolution of the Social Safety Net and Social Insurance Benefits from 1990 to 2014​

Today, the Office of Economic Policy at the Treasury Department released the fourth in a series of briefs exploring the economic security of American households. This brief  focuses on the distribution of benefits from the social safety net and social insurance programs and how that distribution has changed since 1990.

The social safety net is largely defined as those programs that help protect individuals and households from negative economic shocks. As a result, eligibility for the social safety net programs is generally restricted to those whose incomes fall below certain threshold amounts and whose assets do not exceed certain amounts. While there are many programs that aim to protect individuals against negative economic shocks, in this brief, we focus on the following programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).   

Social insurance provides individuals with protection against economic risks, with benefits linked to certain triggers. Social insurance is provided to all individuals regardless of their income or wealth, although the benefit amounts may be tied to past work experience, income, or wealth. Social Security (retirement, survivor, and disability), Medicare, and Unemployment Insurance are the most well-known social insurance programs.

Over the past 25 years, there have been significant changes in the provision and distribution of benefits from safety net and social insurance programs. Some of these changes have been designed to reduce the work disincentives inherent in many programs, while other changes have expanded eligibility for benefits to individuals above the very bottom end of the income distribution. The past 25 years have also seen important changes in demographics and labor force participation patterns. Together, these changes have important implications for which individuals and households are eligible to receive benefits, the distribution of benefits by income, how much in benefits households receive, and the labor force participation of eligible individuals.

During the period from 1990 to 2014, among non-elderly households, the poorest households, households with children under the age of 18, and households with a disabled individual received the largest average benefits from the social safety net and social insurance programs.  

Elderly households and households with a disabled individual have experienced relatively little change in the distribution of benefits since 1990, but non-elderly non-disabled households with children under the age of 18 have experienced large changes in the distribution of benefits. These changes reflect the fact that the receipt of benefits for these households has become increasingly tied to their ability to find employment. As a result, non-disabled households with children just above the very bottom of the income distribution – in the second, third, and fourth deciles – have seen the largest growth in the average total benefits (see the figure below). While tying the receipt of benefits to employment reduces the disincentive effects of these programs on willingness to work, it may also reduce the ability of the safety net to respond to adverse macroeconomic conditions.  In particular, during periods of elevated unemployment, the safety net may be less effective in preventing individuals and households from falling into poverty. This limitation should be considered when designing the discretionary policy response to future macroeconomic shocks.


While the social safety net and social insurance programs have historically provided benefits to households with children and disabled households, non-elderly non-disabled households without children under age 18 have traditionally received few benefits. This continues to be true such that, across the income distribution, non-disabled households without children receive far less from the social safety net and social insurance programs than any other group (see the figure below). As a result, in the event of a negative income shock, there exists only a limited social safety net to prevent these households from falling into poverty. One reason that non-disabled households without children are less likely to receive benefits as income increases is that fewer of the social safety net and social insurance programs are available to households in this group. For example, the EITC provides material benefits to households with children in the bottom third of the income distribution, while the EITC provides very little benefit to non-disabled households without children. Moreover, non-disabled households without children have less access to cash welfare and SNAP.


Overall, though, the social safety and social insurance programs provide critical support to vulnerable American households. Moreover, according to the most comprehensive measures of poverty currently available, poverty in the United States would be significantly higher in the absence of these programs. In addition, these programs have contributed to a material reduction in the incidence of poverty since the late 1960s, when many of the social safety net programs were created. 

Karen Dynan is the Assistant Secretary of Economic Policy at the Department of the Treasury.

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2020_01_04_the_economic_security_of_american_househ Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:19:31 +0300
<![CDATA[Tune in: TFI@10: The Evolution of Treasury's National Security Role]]> On Monday, June 2, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Center for Strategic and International Studies will co-host a symposium entitled “TFI@10: The Evolution of Treasury’s National Security Role,” marking the 10th anniversary of the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). Secretary Jacob J. Lew will deliver remarks on the Department’s role in advancing U.S. national security and foreign policy and the event will convene senior Administration officials, former government and Congressional leaders, and other foreign policy experts in academia and the private sector to discuss the future of financial tools, financial transparency, and financial intelligence as a means of advancing our national security. The symposium recognizes TFI's important work to disrupt and dismantle the financial networks of terrorist organizations, proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, drug traffickers, and transnational organized criminals as well as to protect the U.S. financial system from abuse.    

Since its establishment in 2004, TFI has marshalled the Department’s intelligence, regulatory, policy and enforcement authorities to combat the most significant threats to U.S. national security and advance key foreign policy objectives. 

Below are additional details on the impressive speakers and panelists that will be participating. The whole event will be broadcasted live on USTREAM here


Monday, June 2, 2014

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, DC

8:40 a.m. Introductory Remarks

David S. Cohen
Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,
U.S. Department of the Treasury


8:45 a.m. Morning Keynote

Jacob J. Lew
Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Introduction:

John J. Hamre
President, CEO, and Pritzker Chair, CSIS


9:05 a.m. Panel I: Leveraging Financial Tools to Advance National Security

Tom Donilon
Distinguished Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Former National Security Adviser

Stephen Hadley
Chairman of the Board, U.S. Institute of Peace
Former National Security Adviser

Moderator:
Andrea Mitchell

Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC News


10:15 a.m. Morning Remarks

Stuart Levey
Chief Legal Officer, HSBC Holdings plc 
Former Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence


10:30 a.m. Panel II: Financial Intelligence: Redefining and Reshaping National Security

Keith Alexander
Former Director of the National Security Agency

Jane Harman
Director, President, and CEO, Wilson Center
Former Representative (D-CA)

Michèle Flournoy
CEO, Center for a New American Security
Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Moderator:
David Sanger
Chief Washington Correspondent, The New York Times


11:30 a.m. Midday Keynote

Denis McDonough
White House Chief of Staff


12:30 p.m. Panel III: Increasing Financial Transparency and Protecting the U.S. Financial System

Neal Wolin
Former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury

Reuben Jeffery III
Senior Adviser, CSIS; CEO, Rockefeller & Co.
Former Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business, & Agricultural Affairs

Moderator:

Juan Zarate

Senior Adviser, CSIS
Former Deputy National Security Adviser
Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes


1:30 p.m. Closing Remarks


David S. Cohen
Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,
U.S. Department of the Treasury


Anthony Reyes is the New Media Specialist at the United States Department of the Treasury.

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2020_01_04_tune_in_tfi_10_the_evolution_of_treasu Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:19:30 +0300
<![CDATA[Year In Review: Investing in Innovation and Manufacturing in the United States]]>  

During his first year at the Treasury Department, Secretary Lew traveled across the country visiting companies that are investing in the United States. From Alpharetta, Georgia, to San Francisco, California, Secretary Lew met with local and national business leaders, visited leading research and development parks, and toured manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S., getting a first-hand look at the contributions many companies are making by investing in the American economy, and experiencing first-hand the benefits of American innovation.siemens.pngIn March, Secretary Lew traveled to Alpharetta, Georgia to tour the Siemens’ GA 400 manufacturing facility.  The facility employs more than 700 people who manufacture traction drives for the rail and mining industries, low voltage drives for the water, wastewater, paper and metals industries, and more than 100 different types of control panels.  Siemens employs nearly 60,000 people across the U.S. and has invested $25 billion here over the past 10 years, including nearly $1 billion annually in research and development.

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Secretary Lew visited a Vitamix production facility outside Cleveland, Ohio in May to highlight the importance of growing the economy and creating jobs in the United States.  Vitamix designs and manufactures blending equipment for the food service industry and home kitchens, and has experienced significant growth in the U.S. and abroad.  Company exports doubled in the last two years, making Vitamix products available in more than 100 countries.  The company’s expansion is projected to employ hundreds more workers in the region. 

 

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Secretary Lew toured the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) outside of Denver, Colorado this July. NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for research and development for renewable energy and energy efficiency. The laboratory employs 1,670 full-time employees and 740 visiting researchers, interns and contractors.  NREL’s work has contributed significantly to our ability to double U.S. generation of renewable energy over the past four years and will help accomplish President Obama’s goals of doubling energy productivity by 2030 and re-doubling renewable energy generation by 2020.

 

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In the San Francisco Bay Area Secretary Lew highlighted the President’s plan to strengthen the middle class and create jobs by improving the nation’s infrastructure, enlarging our manufacturing base and developing innovative technologies right here in the United States.  As part of his trip, he toured the AT&T Foundry innovation center in Palo Alto, California.  The Foundry connects technical experts from diverse fields including: engineers, developers, and designers to AT&T’s business experts to develop new technology products and services. In the San Francisco Bay Area Secretary Lew highlighted the President’s plan to strengthen the middle class and create jobs by improving the nation’s infrastructure, enlarging our manufacturing base and developing innovative technologies right here in the United States.  As part of his trip, he toured the AT&T Foundry innovation center in Palo Alto, California.  The Foundry connects technical experts from diverse fields including: engineers, developers, and designers to AT&T’s business experts to develop new technology products and services. 

 

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Last month, Secretary Lew toured the production floor of Patton Electronics Company, a family-owned business and exporter of telecommunications equipment in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Secretary heard from owners Bobby and Burt Patton on the importance of the Administration’s continued efforts to promote American exports and increase opportunities for U.S. workers and businesses.  The company exports its network access and connectivity products to more than 120 countries around the world and employs nearly 100 workers in the Gaithersburg community in manufacturing, engineering, and marketing.  

 

 
During each stop, Secretary Lew also met with local business and thought leaders to discuss key issues in local and U.S. economies. Companies like Siemens, Vitamix, and Patton Electronics and centers like the AT&T Foundry and NREL continue to expand manufacturing, create new technologies and invest in local communities.  These commitments, advancements, and innovative businesses drive growth, grow the middle-class, and strengthen the American economy.

 

E. Lance Williams is the Special Assistant at the Office of Business and Public Liaison at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

 

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2013_12_31_year_in_review_investing_in_innovation Tue, 31 Dec 2013 22:26:27 +0400
<![CDATA[Charitable Hospitals: Roles and Responsibilities]]> More than half of the nation’s hospitals are charitable hospitals and they play a key role in improving the health of the communities they serve.  As charitable organizations, these hospitals receive many benefits, including a tax exemption on their earnings and the ability to receive tax-deductible contributions, and in return it is their responsibility to provide benefits back to their communities.  As we reach the end of the year, we want to remind charitable hospitals that they must also take important steps to protect patients – including protecting them from hidden and high prices, and unreasonable collection actions.  

 

Today, Treasury and the IRS issued two notices providing guidance for these charitable hospitals.  The Affordable Care Act added new requirements, which are already in effect, to help ensure access to financial assistance for patients of charitable hospitals, protect patients from abusive collections practices, and require hospitals to assess and address the health needs of the communities they serve.  The first notice includes a proposed revenue procedure providing a process for charitable hospitals that fail to satisfy the requirements under section 501(r) of the Internal Revenue Code – which provides their charitable, tax-exempt designation – to follow to correct and disclose those failures.  In return for following this corrections process, charitable hospitals would receive assurance that they will not face possible loss of tax-exempt status as long as their mistakes were not willful or egregious.  This also benefits the broader public because it encourages hospitals to closely review their procedures, quickly correct any errors, and remain transparent with the community and the IRS about any failures to meet section 501(r) requirements.

 

The second notice​ provides reliance on proposed regulations already released under section 501(r) regarding charitable hospitals’ responsibilities.  In June 2012, Treasury and the IRS published proposed regulations addressing the requirement that charitable hospitals, as a condition of receiving tax exemption, establish a financial assistance policy, an emergency medical care policy, and limitations on charges and collection activities against individuals that are eligible for financial assistance.  Specifically, the proposed rules require tax-exempt hospitals to clearly define the financial assistance available, how to apply for it, and publicize their policies so that community members are aware that aid is available.  The proposed regulations also set forth provisions to curb the use of discriminatory pricing and collection schemes – by providing that individuals eligible for financial assistance cannot be charged more for medically necessary care than insured individuals, explicitly prohibiting collections activities in emergency rooms, and requiring tax-exempt hospitals to re-issue previous bills at a discounted amount if a patient is later determined to be eligible for financial assistance.  Following this, in April 2013, Treasury and the IRS published proposed regulations addressing the requirement that charitable hospitals conduct community health needs assessments and adopt implementation strategies to address the community health needs identified.  The proposed regulations also address the consequences for failing to meet any of the section 501(r) requirements.

 

As background on the section 501(r) requirements, the Affordable Care Act requires charitable (tax-exempt) hospitals to:
  • Limit charges.  Hospitals may not charge individuals eligible for financial assistance more for emergency or other medically necessary care than the amounts generally billed to patients with Medicare or private commercial insurance.
  • Establish and disclose financial assistance policies.  Each hospital must establish and widely publicize a financial assistance policy that clearly describes to patients the eligibility criteria for obtaining financial assistance and the method for applying for financial assistance.
  • Abide by reasonable billing and collection requirements.  Charitable hospitals are prohibited from engaging in certain collection methods (for example, sending a debt to a credit agency or garnishing wages) until they make reasonable efforts to determine whether an individual is eligible for assistance under the hospital’s financial assistance policy.
  • Perform a community health needs assessment.  Each charitable hospital must conduct and publish a community health needs assessment at least once every three years – and disclose on the tax form it files annually the steps it is taking to address the health needs identified in the assessment.  
For the Notice of Proposed Procedures for Charitable Hospitals to Correct and Disclose Failures to Meet Section 501(r), click here.

 

 

For the Notice of Reliance on Proposed Regulations for Tax-Exempt Hospitals, click here.

 

 

Betsy Bourassa is a Media Specialist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. ​

 

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2013_12_31_charitable_hospitals_roles_and_responsi Tue, 31 Dec 2013 01:06:28 +0400
<![CDATA[The Wind Down of TARP is Almost Complete]]> The U.S. Treasury Department made significant progress towards completing the wind down of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2013.  Treasury fully exited the taxpayers’ investment in General Motors (GM), recovered an additional $5.9 billion of the investment in Ally Financial (Ally), and substantially wound down the remaining bank investments. Forty banks repaid taxpayers and Treasury auctioned or otherwise sold our positions in 81 institutions.  To date, Treasury has recouped $432.8 billion on all TARP investments – including the disposition of Treasury’s remaining investment in AIG – compared to $421.9 billion disbursed.

 

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In December of 2012, GM repurchased 200 million shares of GM common stock from Treasury. At that time, Treasury announced that we would sell the remaining shares gradually over the following 12-15 months, and we began doing so in January. Over the course of the year, GM’s common stock was added to the S&P 500 index, and the average daily volume of trading increased.  As a result, we were able to complete the exit earlier this month.

 

Treasury’s investment in the American auto industry was part of President Obama’s broader response to the financial crisis.  Had the Administration not acted to support the automotive industry, the cost to the country would have been substantial — in terms of lost jobs, lost tax revenue, reduced economic production, and other consequences. We recovered $39 billion from the original GM investment, and our actions have enabled the industry to rebound.  Since 2009, more than 370,000 new auto jobs have been created, and GM, Chrysler, and Ford are profitable, competitive and growing.

 

In 2013, Ally, now the only remaining investment under the Automotive Industry Financing Program, completed an important restructuring plan that Treasury announced last year as a pathway to exit. Ally sold its international operations for more than $9 billion.  In addition, the company addressed the legacy mortgage liabilities from its subsidiary, Residential Capital or “ResCap,” with the bankruptcy court’s approval of ResCap’s restructuring plan this month. And in November, the Federal Reserve announced that it did not object to Ally’s revised capital plan, allowing the company to repurchase all of the Mandatorily Convertible Preferred shares Treasury held, and return $5.9 billion to taxpayers.

 

Taxpayers are now in a stronger position to maximize the value of their remaining investment in Ally.  We will work with the company to further wind down this investment through either a public offering, private sale of its common shares or further sales of assets.  

 

Treasury’s success with the TARP wind down was not limited to the auto program.  The Credit Market and Bank Support Programs also crossed significant milestones in 2013.   

 

Treasury took an important step in June when we recovered the last of our investments in the Public-Private Investment Program, or PPIP, one of the programs Treasury created to respond to the financial crisis.  Treasury used PPIP to unfreeze the markets that provide credit to American families and businesses.  The government partnered with private investors to provide financing on attractive terms to several funds created to facilitate the purchase of troubled legacy mortgage-backed securities.  

 

This helped bring private capital back to these markets, which in turn increased the availability of loans to families and businesses. Under the program, Treasury originally disbursed $18.6 billion, and has now recovered all of our PPIP debt and equity investments, earning a $3.3 billion positive return.  In 2013, we also completed the wind down of the Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF).

 

Lastly, Treasury made great strides winding down the Capital Purchase Program (CPP) this year.  Treasury originally invested $204.9 billion in 707 viable institutions in communities across the country to help stabilize the financial system.  To date, Treasury has recovered $224.9 billion – a $20 billion positive return.  

 

Treasury recouped $2.9 billion on the 81 bank investments that we auctioned in 2013.  In addition, 40 other banks repaid the investments.  We intend to continue using a combination of repayments, restructurings, and sales to manage and recover the outstanding investments in 89 banks.  Every additional dollar we recover will be an additional positive return to taxpayers.

 

While almost all TARP investments have been recovered, Treasury is continuing to help families through the housing assistance programs launched under TARP.  There have now been 1.8 million homeowner assistance actions under the Making Home Affordable (MHA), and we continue to help thousands of new families each month. Throughout 2013, the median savings for homeowners in the HAMP program on their mortgage payments each month was $547 – a nearly 40 percent savings from their previous payment.  And in May, we extended the MHA program through December 31, 2015, aligning it with extended deadlines for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).
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In November, the Making Home Affordable (MHA) team held its 90th borrower outreach event, and to date has visited 57 cities. The MHA team held 10 events across the country this year, including a Help for Homeowner event that Secretary Lew attended in September.  At the event in Landover, Maryland, the Secretary met with homeowners affected by the financial crisis and participated in a roundtable discussion with the DC metropolitan area’s housing leaders to discuss local and national approaches to foreclosure prevention. 

 

 

In 2013, states launched new and important initiatives to address the challenges facing their housing markets through the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) program, including Florida's Elmore program. Funded by the Treasury’s HHF, the Elmore program assists elderly homeowners with FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, better known as reverse mortgages. The Elmore program helps homeowners who because of financial hardship, are having difficulty making property tax and homeowner’s insurance payments and may be facing foreclosure as a result.  

 

Also in 2013, Michigan and Ohio launched blight elimination programs under the Hardest Hit Fund to help eliminate vacant homes in their states. Michigan allocated $100 million, and Ohio allocated $60 million for their respective programs, which aim to prevent foreclosures through demolition, greening, and ongoing maintenance of vacant and abandoned residential properties.  

 

2014 promises to be a year filled with TARP activity. Treasury will continue its efforts to provide relief to families at risk of foreclosure and to help the housing market recover from a historic crisis. And the Department is poised to make even more progress winding down TARP. While the year might change, Treasury’s strategy in this regard remains the same: we will continue to wind down these investments in a manner that balances maximizing taxpayers’ return with the speed of our exit.

 

 

Adam Hodge is a Spokesperson for Domestic Finance at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2013_12_30_the_wind_down_of_tarp_is_almost_complete Mon, 30 Dec 2013 19:56:49 +0400
<![CDATA[Historic Photograph of Salmon P. Chase Donated to the Treasury]]> The Treasury Historical Association this month donated to the Department a rare original relic - an 1862 photograph of Secretary Salmon Portland Chase. The image is important to Treasury in that it was used twenty years later by the photographer, Henry Ulke, to paint, posthumously, Chase’s official portrait. It is also the likeness that was used on the first one dollar bill printed in 1862 and the $10,000 bill in 1918.  

 

In 1861, Salmon P. Chase resigned from the Senate to become President Abraham Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary. In his new position, Chase was faced with the formidable challenge of financing the Civil War. In order to do so, Chase implemented the Nation’s first income tax and developed a national currency, known as the “green backs” because of the color.lincoln cabinet.pngChase was the consummate bureaucrat and his official papers provide a record of his service in the Lincoln cabinet. In addition, Chase kept a diary to record his daily activities, offering a rare glimpse into the daily life of a key cabinet official.

On January 6, 1862, Chase wrote, “In fulfillment of engagement with the President of the American Bank Note Company, went to Ulke’s, who took a number of photographs.” Three days later, Chase made another visit to Henry Ulke’s studio at 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, noting in his diary, “Called at Ulke’s.”  The purpose of the visits was to obtain a photographic portrait of Secretary Chase to serve as the basis for the engraving on the newly introduced one dollar bill.  Henry Ulke was a photographer and portrait artist whose studio served Washington patrons at a time when photographers’ studios were highly popular.

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The notes were to be engraved and printed by the American Bank Note Company in New York, the predecessor firm to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Although the U.S. Government began to print paper money in 1862, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing actually began operations quite modestly in that year with only five clerks and a bureau chief, housed in the Treasury building’s basement. It was not until 1877 that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing became the exclusive printer of U.S. currency and securities, moving to the Treasury building’s attic.  

 

engraving chase.pngHow Secretary Chase came to be portrayed on the one dollar bill is described in a pamphlet of his speeches, “Going Home to Vote.” Chase stated: “I went to work and made “greenbacks” and a good many of them. I had some handsome pictures put on them; and as I like to be among the people, and was kept too close to visit them in any other way, and as the engravers thought me rather good looking, I told them they might put me on the end of the one-dollar bills.”   

 

Chase must have been favorably impressed with his dollar bill image because he had the same engraved image printed on his personal calling card. One surviving calling card bears Chase’s signature and the date, “Feby 11, 1862,” which suggests that the engraving for the banknote was produced within a month from when the image was taken at Ulke’s studio.

 

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The same image of Chase, taken from the Ulke’s 1862 photograph, had one other iteration on national currency. The same portrait of Chase was put on the $10,000 bill which was printed between 1918 – 1946.    

Treasury’s portrait collection was begun in 1879 by Secretary John Sherman after Chase’s death in 1873. As a local Washington, D.C. portrait artist, Henry Ulke received a number of Treasury portrait commissions. Still in possession of Chase’s 1862 photograph, he was the obvious choice for this Secretary’s official portrait which was painted in 1880. In executing the portrait, Ulke literally copied his photograph which has become Chase’s most famous likeness. 

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The photograph remained in possession of Henry Ulke’s family until it was sold at auction in October 2013 and was purchased by the Treasury Historical Association. It was donated to the Department in December, 2013, to serve as a record of the portrait’s source.

Richard Cote is the Curator at the U.S. Department of the Treasury

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2013_12_26_historic_photograph_of_salmon_p_chase_d Thu, 26 Dec 2013 22:35:46 +0400
<![CDATA[Year In Review: The Office of Financial Research]]>

 

​This past year, the Office of Financial Research​ (OFR or Office) has advanced substantive work to achieve its mission, building on its progress since being established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The OFR, led by Director Richard Berner, is ramping up its services to the Financial Stability Oversight Council (Council), Council member agencies, and the public by working to improve the quality and scope of financial data available to policymakers and to conduct and foster sophisticated analysis of the financial system. 

Last week, the OFR submitted its 2013 Annual Report to Congress, fulfilling a requirement to annually assess the state of the United States financial system and analyze threats to U.S. financial stability. The report describes a prototype Financial Stability Monitor, a comprehensive new tool developed by the OFR for tracking threats and the interplay among them. Screen shot 2013-12-17 at 3.34.56 PM.png

The Office also released a report this year on asset management activities, as requested by the Council. The Council decided to study the activities of asset management firms to better inform its analysis of whether – and how – to consider such firms for enhanced prudential standards and supervision under section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act. In developing the report, the OFR staff reviewed existing research, analyzed industry data, interviewed market participants, and consulted extensively with Council member agencies.

 

The OFR also continued its three years of leadership in the global initiative to establish the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI). OFR Chief Counsel Matthew Reed represents Treasury as Chair of the Regulatory Oversight Committee of the Global LEI System, which launched in January. In July, Reed noted in a Treasury Notes blog post that “the efforts to produce an LEI system are coming to fruition,” explaining how the need for a LEI system has long been recognized, but its construction is now well under way.

This year, the OFR also established a research grant program with the National Science Foundation and expanded its Working Paper Series, releasing a total of nine working papers on topics related to financial stability. To read them please follow the links below: 

​Visit this page for links to remarks, news and events related to the OFR and for signing up for e-mail updates about the research that will be produced in 2014.

 

 

Barbara Shycoff is the Chief of External Affairs at the Office of Financial Research.

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2013_12_23_year_in_review_the_office_of_financial Mon, 23 Dec 2013 18:45:37 +0400
<![CDATA[Year in Review: Treasury’s Efforts to Invest in Our Communities and Grow American Small Businesses]]> From the moment he took office, President Obama has worked to move our economy forward and invest in communities and small businesses so they can do what they do best—expand opportunity, develop new ideas, and create new jobs. At the Department of the Treasury, the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF),  the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) work together to power local growth, create a more inclusive economy and drive America’s recovery.  As the year draws to a close, below are some highlights from our work in 2013.

CDFI Fund

This year marked another successful year for Treasury’s CDFI Fund, during which it utilized its existing award programs to strengthen community development organizations working to revitalize low-income communities, while beginning a new program, the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. The CDFI Fund was established by Congress in 1994 to promote economic revitalization and community development through investment in and assistance to mission-driven lenders known as community development financial institutions (CDFIs). 

The CDFI Fund’s flagship CDFI Program awarded 191 organizations Financial Assistance (FA) and Technical Assistance (TA) awards totaling over $172 million in fiscal year (FY) 2013.  The FA awardees are working to increase lending and diversify their product offerings in their target markets, while the TA awardees are using their awards to increase internal capacity to better serve their communities. Included in this round were awards to 10 organizations totaling more than $22 million through the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which awardees will use to expand their lending to healthy food investments to combat food deserts. In FY 2013, the CDFI Fund also awarded $12.4 million through the Native American CDFI Assistance Program to CDFIs serving Native communities and $17 million in Bank Enterprise Awards to 85 FDIC-insured depository institutions for serving economically distressed communities across the nation. 

In April, the CDFI Fund and Treasury announced the tenth round of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program, awarding $3.5 billion in NMTC allocation authority to 85 community development entities. Since its creation in 2000, the NMTC Program has played a unique and vital role in attracting private capital to America’s distressed communities, supporting a wide range of business and community investments. Through 2012, the NMTC Program has created or retained an estimated 561,800 jobs, supported the construction of 22 million square feet of manufacturing space, 71.9 million square feet of office space and 55.3 million square feet of retail space.

Finally, the CDFI Fund hit a major milestone in the implementation of the new CDFI Bond Guarantee Program by approving the first three term-sheets for $325 million in bonds for investments in low-income and distressed communities across the nation. Created by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program has the potential to transform the lending capabilities of the CDFI industry by widening CDFI access to capital markets.

SSBCI

2013 was a breakthrough year for Treasury’s SSBCI program. The program was created by the Small Business Jobs Act to award almost $1.5 billion to state-administered programs that support small businesses and small manufacturers. The program is expected to help spur $15 billion in new private sector lending or investment by leveraging $10 of private capital for every dollar of federal support. 

Screen shot 2013-12-20 at 9.42.47 AM.pngThis year saw SSBCI publish its first annual report, which showed that the program had already supported 4,600 loans and investments totaling $1.9 billion by the end of 2012. The report analyzed the performance of the basic types of SSBCI programs and featured businesses that have been able to expand and hire because of the program, including auto supplier New Center Stamping in Detroit, Michigan and M. Luis Construction, which Secretary Lew visited during National Small Business Week, in Rockville and Baltimore, Maryland (photo below). 

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The most recent SSBCI Quarterly Report, which tracked performance through the end of the third quarter, was released earlier this week and shows that states used over $677 million to support small businesses. The majority of states have accelerated their expenditure, obligation or transfer of SSBCI funds, more than doubling the amount of funds reaching local, growing companies since the beginning of this year.

 

SBLF 

The SBLF was created by the Small Business Jobs Act as a dedicated fund designed to provide capital to qualified community banks to encourage small business lending. This year, SBLF participants surpassed an important milestone: they have now boosted aggregate lending to small businesses by more than $10 billion over the program’s baseline level. 

Increases in small business lending have been widespread across SBLF participants, with 92 percent of participants having increased their small business lending and 86 percent having increased by 10 percent or more.  Additionally, SBLF banks have increased business loans outstanding by a median of 48 percent over baseline levels, versus a 10 percent median increase for the representative peer group.

​This year saw the release of SBLF’s First Annual Lending Survey, providing data that allows Treasury to estimate the number of loans generated by SBLF participants’ increased lending. By the second quarter of 2013, that number stood at 48,600 new loans, spread across all regions of the country and a mix of industries, with service, agricultural and retail sector businesses leading the way. Going into 2014, SBLF continues to be a source of capital that’s allowing Main Street banks to lend to more Main Street businesses.

To learn more about Treasury’s small business and community development programs, and the potential they hold for 2014, please visit the links below:

 

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

o   Brochure and Factsheets

o   The CDFI Program

o   The New Markets Tax Credit Program

o   The CDFI Bond Guarantee Program

o   The Native American CDFI Assistance Program

o  The Bank Enterprise Award Program​

The State Small Business Credit Initiative

The Small Business Lending Fund

 

Matt Bevens is a Media Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2013_12_20_year_in_review_treasury_s_efforts_to_in Fri, 20 Dec 2013 18:55:40 +0400
<![CDATA[Disrupting Drug Trafficking Networks – Progress in 2013]]> Treasury made significant progress this year in our efforts to target drug lords worldwide and disrupt their support networks.  In order to further these goals, we’ve continued to utilize the authorities in the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (“Kingpin Act”).   The Kingpin Act aims to protect the U.S. financial system by denying significant foreign narcotics traffickers, their businesses, and operatives access to the U.S. financial system.  The Act generally prohibits all trade and transactions between the traffickers and the U.S.  This year Treasury designated 83 individuals and 67 entities pursuant to the Kingpin Act, and the President identified six significant international narcotics traffickers. 

In 2013, Treasury focused on cartels operating out of Mexico and Central America by repeatedly targeting the family members and close associates of the Sinaloa Cartel, the associates and businesses of Los Zetas, and an ever-expanding network of narcotics trafficking organizations in Central America.  Treasury also continued to track the activities of major narcotics trafficking organizations in Colombia.

Below are several of the key Kingpin Act highlights from this past year, which highlight the continuing actions against priority targets.

SINALOA

 

  • On January 9, 2013, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Damaso Lopez Nunez, a top Sinaloa lieutenant and Ines Coronel Barreras, the father-in-law of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “Chapo" Guzman.  The two were designated for their role in the narcotics trafficking activities of Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel. 
  • On May 7, 2013, OFAC designated eight plaza bosses working directly for Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia and Chapo Guzman.  Plaza bosses are leaders of a particular geographic area and they coordinate, direct, and support the smuggling of illegal drugs from Mexico into the U.S. They rely on violence to maintain their positions, using hitmen to control their specific geographic area.  Through this significant action, OFAC targeted the busy Sonora, Mexico corridor, which runs into the Tucson and Phoenix metropolitan areas, and is a major trans-shipment lane for the smuggling narcotics out of Mexico and into the United States.
  • On June 12, 2013, 18 individuals linked to Rafael Caro Quintero, a significant Mexican drug trafficker, were designated for their role as front persons, along with 15 companies that are owned and/or managed by these individuals in Mexico.  Rafael Caro Quintero began his criminal career in the late 1970s when he and others, including Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno (a.k.a. “El Azul”), formed the Guadalajara drug cartel and amassed an illicit fortune.  Caro Quintero was the mastermind behind the kidnapping and murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985.  Caro Quintero was identified as a Tier I Kingpin by the President in 2000
  • On August 22, 2013, OFAC designated five Mexican individuals and published new aliases of seven previously designated companies, which operate gas stations, linked to another Sinaloa Cartel leader, Jose Esparragoza Moreno.  This action targeted the five individuals for managing the gas stations on behalf of Esparragoza Moreno and his network in an attempt to evade OFAC sanctions.  

     

ZETAS

 

  •  ​Also in 2013, Treasury aggressively targeted the violent Los Zetas, with four separate designation actionsOn August 1, 2013, Treasury designated Carolina Fernandez Gonzalez, wife of Zeta boss Omar Trevino Morales, her father, Jesus Fernandez de Luna, and his cattle sales company, ​Compania Ganaderia 5 Manantiales.  Omar Trevino Morales established this company for his wife and her father-in-law as a money laundering front to be used by Los Zetas.  Through this and other actions, Treasury shined the light on various aspects of Los Zetas, including its bulk cash and drug smuggling operations, its international financial operations, and the businesses used by Los Zetas leaders to launder their illicitly gained funds.
  • In August 2013, Forbes Magazine reported that “The U.S. Treasury has taken aggressive steps to target a number of Mexican individuals and business entities closely linked to the leadership of Mexico’s two major criminal organizations – the Sinaloa and the Zetas cartels – in an effort to disrupt their money laundering operations.” 

     

 

CENTRAL AMERICA

 

  • One of the most influential designations this year was the September 19 action targeting the Los Cachiros, a Honduran drug trafficking organization which plays a critical role in the transportation of narcotics from Colombia to Mexico.  On the same day that Treasury designated this organization, the Government of Honduras embarked on a week-long seizure action against Los Cachiros’ financial and commercial assets, including those businesses designated by OFAC, pursuant to the Honduran Asset Forfeiture Law. 

COLOMBIA

 

  • On July 9, 2013, OFAC announced the designation of Colombian nationals Isaac Perez Guberek Ravinovicz and his son, Henry Guberek Grimberg, as well as seven other individuals and 22 entities, including companies located in Colombia, Panama, and Israel.  These 31 individuals and entities comprise a money laundering network responsible for laundering millions of dollars in drug money connected to transnational drug trafficking organizations.  Colombian press reporting following the action also identified La Oficina de Envigado, a Medellin-based criminal organization, and Daniel “El Loco” Barrera, previously designated pursuant to the Kingpin Act, as traffickers who used the services of the Guberek network to launder their drug proceeds in Colombia. 
  • Two Colombian “bandas criminales” – Los Rastrojos and Los Urabenos – were also targeted under the Kingpin Act in 2013.  On January 30, 2013, OFAC designated Los Rastrojos and its leader, Diego Perez Henao, as specially designated narcotics traffickers.  And on May 31, 2013, the President identified Los Urabenos as Tier I Kingpins.  Los Rastrojos and Los Urabenos have taken over the narcotics smuggling routes in Colombia, which was once predominately controlled by Colombian narco-terrorist organizations. 

     

This year’s actions underscore Treasury’s determination to identify and disrupt those supporting violent drug trafficking organizations and we will continue to be vigilant in targeting these organizations worldwide in 2014.

 

Michael Swanson is the Assistant Director for the Global Counter-Narcotics Division of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. 

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2013_12_19_disrupting_drug_trafficking_networks_p Thu, 19 Dec 2013 21:15:37 +0400
<![CDATA[Year In Review: Secretary Lew and the Global Economy]]> Secretary Lew’s first year at Treasury included significant interaction with his counterparts abroad, focused on promoting financial stability, accelerating economic growth and enhancing trade and investment. From China to Europe, and in meetings with his counterparts from around the world, the Secretary emphasized policies to grow the U.S. and global economy, level the playing field for American workers and businesses and to create jobs.

A few weeks after Secretary Lew took office, he traveled to China in March to meet with the country’s new leadership and senior economic officials to discuss the bilateral relationship with the U.S., opportunities for cooperation and growth and efforts to level the playing field and create new opportunities for U.S. workers and businesses.  Secretary Lew was the first foreign official President Xi Jinping (photo below) met since assuming power and the Associated Press reported their meeting was also “the first high-level exchange between the sides in six months and the start of a series of meetings that will test the potential for cooperation between the world’s first- and second-largest economies.”

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In advance of his visit to China, Secretary Lew spoke at John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, emphasizing the need for global rebalancing: "[We] must rebalance global demand to make it sustainable. There is now broad agreement that we cannot return to a pattern of global growth that is built on the U.S. being the world's importer of first and last resort. Looking ahead, the United States must raise national savings, and emerging and more rapidly growing parts of the world, like Asia, must increasingly rely on domestic demand.”

In April, Secretary Lew visited Brussels, Belgium; Frankfurt, Germany; Berlin, Germany; and Paris, France for discussions with his counterparts on economic developments in Europe, promoting policies to boost global growth and promote financial stability. The Secretary met with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (photo below), European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, and different countries’ finance ministers, with a focus on advancing the agenda for international regulatory reform, and creating additional opportunities for increased trade and investment and job creation. Secretary Lew also discussed Europe's plans to move toward a banking union, which is critical to ensuring the long-term stability of the euro area.

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Back in Washington later in April, Secretary Lew attended the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.  As well as reviewing the global economic outlook, the meetings discussed challenges facing developing and emerging economies, and other development challenges, such as inclusivegrowth. Secretary Lew delivered remarks at a meeting of the Equal Futures Partnership at the World Bank (photo below), which promotes efforts to expand women’s political and economic participation. The Secretary spoke about the direct role women have in strengthening any country’s economy.

 

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During the spring meetings at IMF and the World Bank, Secretary Lew also met with the multi-lateral development banks (MDBs) that Treasury helps support, including the Inter-American Development Bank (photo below). At a time when the United States is striving to shape the global economy, the MDBs are important partners in supporting our national security objectives, promoting economic growth, and addressing global challenges.

 

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In May, Secretary Lew traveled to the United Kingdom for the G-7 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss measures to promote global economic stability and growth. While there, the Secretary sat down for an interview with CNBC and discussed our view of the European recovery and the global economy: “We feel strongly there needs to be the right balance between austerity and growth. We've seen in the United States that scheduling the deficit reduction to come a little bit later has left us with a stronger economy.”

 

​​In July, Treasury hosted the Economic Track meetings for the fifth round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Secretary Lew led the economic talks during the two days, serving as the President’s special representative.  The U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue was established by President Obama and Chinese President Hu in April 2009 and represents the highest-level bilateral forum to discuss a broad range of issues between the two nations. The Dialogue is an essential step in advancing a positive, constructive, and comprehensive relationship between the two countries, and it concluded this summer with the United States and China announcing their intentions to negotiate a U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). This marks an important step in opening China’s economy to U.S. investment by eliminating market barriers, and leveling the playing field for American workers and businesses, and represented the first time that China has agreed to negotiate a BIT that was based on a negative list and that includes market access for all stages of investment.

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Later that July, Secretary Lew traveled to Moscow, Russia to attend the G-20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and wrote an op-ed in the Financial Times saying that the G-20 must pursue policies that boost domestic demand and employment: “In many parts of the world, such as Europe, growth is too weak to drive job creation, and it is critical to take steps to bolster private hiring. Elsewhere, as in China, it is critical to speed reforms to shift towards demand-led growth.

460x.jpg(AP)

On his return from the G-20, Secretary Lew visited Athens, Greece, to meet with senior government officials to discuss Greece’s economic reforms and Europe's policies to support a strong and durable recovery. In remarks at the Acropolis Museum (photo below), Secretary Lew said “engagement with Europe remains at the top of my agenda, because U.S. jobs and growth are inextricably linked to Europe achieving growth and prosperity.”

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(AP)

 

In October, Secretary Lew attended the Fall Annual meetings at the IMF and World Bank and met with international counterparts. On the sidelines of the meetings, Secretary Lew hosted African finance ministers for a roundtable discussion (photo below) on creating frameworks to encourage investment in Africa’s energy sector. Secretary Lew stressed that greater access to energy will create economic opportunities in Africa that have the potential to transform Africa’s economy and boost global growth. Secretary Lew highlighted President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative and committed to work with other nations and the multilateral development institutions to increase the number of households and businesses in Africa with access to power by 20 million and to bring on line 10,000 megawatts of new power production capacity in Africa over the next five years.

 

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In October, Secretary Lew and Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram also met in Washington for the fourth annual meeting of the U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership, where they agreed to deepen our cooperation bilaterally and in multilateral fora, including the G-20, to achieve reforms for stronger, more sustainable and more balanced growth.

And last month, Secretary Lew traveled to Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and China to hold discussions with his counterparts about the U.S. and regional economic outlook. Secretary Lew also discussed policies to boost regional growth and global demand, in particular the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, and in China, he received an update on progress on China’s reform agenda and discussed efforts to level the playing field for U.S. workers and business. The Secretary previewed his week-long trip in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal Asia and wrote how advancing complementary economic reforms in Asia and the United States can help pave the way for a strong, balanced, and sustainable global economy that expands economic opportunities for citizens in both the U.S. and Asia.

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As Secretary Lew testified at a Congressional hearing last week, “progress at home in part depends on the state of a global economy that continues to face many challenges.” 

The long recession in the euro area seems to be ending, although unemployment remains very high in many countries. Having made significant progress on achieving financial stability, Europe is now in a position to place greater priority on boosting demand and employment. In Japan, the central bank and parliament have taken forceful action to begin ending deflation, but to achieve sustained success Japan​ needs to undertake structural reforms to strengthen domestic demand growth. Recently, some emerging markets have slowed as post-crisis stimulus wanes. There has long been recognition that macroeconomic policy in the United States and other advanced economies will eventually return to normal as growth strengthens. Emerging markets need to make reforms that increase their resilience and address structural constraints to growth. China’s new leadership recently announced bold commitments to reform. The pace and character of these reforms will shape China’s economic transition toward domestic consumption led growth, and away from resource-intensive export growth.

Part of my job is to work to create the most favorable external environment for U.S. jobs and businesses. The international financial institutions – the IMF and MDBs – are indispensable partners in this effort and it is imperative that we preserve our leadership in these institutions. Our investments in these institutions foster a more stable and vibrant global economy, which is critical to a growing U.S. economy. 

 

Holly Shulman is the Spokesperson for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2013_12_19_year_in_review_secretary_lew_and_the_gl Thu, 19 Dec 2013 01:55:38 +0400
<![CDATA[Three for Three! Exceeding Our Small Business Contracting Goals for the Third Consecutive Year]]> The U.S. Department of the Treasury understands that small businesses play a critical role in driving economic growth. Because of that, we have made purchasing goods and services from small businesses a top priority. 

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Fiscal Year 2013 proved to be another exceptional year. Earlier today in a ceremony in Treasury’s historic Cash Room, Secretary Lew announced that - for the third year in a row - Treasury has exceeded its small business contracting goals, according to preliminary data. At the ceremony, hosted by Treasury’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, Secretary Lew congratulated staff for not only meeting the Small Business Administration’s 32 percent goal for overall small business contracting, but for also exceeding an internal stretch goal of 35 percent. When the numbers were tallied, Treasury was able to award an impressive 38.5 percent of its small business eligible contracting dollars to small businesses.

 

As part of this effort, Treasury more than doubled its goal for reaching women-owned small businesses and more than tripled its goal for reaching small disadvantaged businesses, the majority of which are minority-owned. Treasury also surpassed its goals in reaching HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zones) small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. According to the early data, Treasury joined only four other agencies in meeting each one of these procurement goals. 

In dollar terms, Treasury’s efforts resulted in nearly $1 billion worth of contracts to small businesses last year, generating a significant amount of economic opportunity in the communities where they operate. 

Secretary Lew noted that these results can help set anexample for other federal agencies, and send the broader message that smallbusinesses have an important role to play in the supply chains of all largeenterprises. 

To learn more about Treasury’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, click here. If you are a small business looking to partner with the Treasury Department, please visit here for more information.

 

Dr. Lorraine Cole is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Departmental Offices.

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2013_12_18_three_for_three_exceeding_our_small_bus Wed, 18 Dec 2013 02:35:38 +0400
<![CDATA[Treasury Notice Advances Federal Tax Equality for Same-Sex Married Couples]]> The Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor last June, invalidating a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, has given rise to crucial protections to same-sex married couples nationwide.  In August, Treasury and IRS helped to clarify the federal tax implications of Windsor by determining that all legal same-sex marriages will be recognized for federal tax purposes​.  Today, Treasury and IRS made significant progress in further promoting tax equality by issuing a new, related notice.

In follow-up to the Windsor decision, this notice addresses how the rules for cafeteria plans, flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and health savings accounts (HSAs) apply to individuals with same-sex spouses.  A cafeteria plan provides participants with an opportunity to receive certain benefits on a pre-tax basis.  Similar to the way in which individuals can choose among several options in a cafeteria, cafeteria plan participants can choose among at least one taxable benefit and one qualified benefit. 

Taxpayers typically must make pre-tax elections under a cafeteria plan before the beginning of the plan year and cannot change their elections until the following year.  Because the Windsor decision was issued mid-year, this notice permits changes to elections for same-sex married couples during the plan year that includes the date of the Windsor decision.  Accordingly, under this notice, sponsors of cafeteria plans could permit employees to choose to enroll same-sex spouses in health coverage in the middle of a plan year, even though mid-year enrollments would otherwise be prohibited.  

In our prior notice on Windsor, we provided transition relief to employees who elected to pay for their own health coverage on a pre-tax basis, but were previously required to pay for their same-sex spouses’ coverage on an after-tax basis.  That transition relief allows employees in this situation to treat the cost of the same-sex spouse coverage as having been paid on a pre-tax basis by excluding the cost of same-sex spouse coverage from their income. The notice clarifies that this relief will apply through the end of the current cafeteria plan year. 

Also, before Windsor, FSAs were not permitted to reimburse expenses incurred by the same-sex spouse of an employee.  Based on the notice, a cafeteria plan could choose to reimburse qualifying expenses incurred by same-sex spouses and their dependents before the date of the Windsor decision, provided the expenses were incurred after the couple was married but not earlier than the beginning of the cafeteria plan year that includes the date of the Windsor decision.  The notice also explains how the limits on contributions to HSAs and dependent care FSAs apply to individuals with same-sex spouses. 

This notice underscores the Administration’s continued commitment to providing equal access to federal benefits, regardless of sexual orientation.

 

Betsy Bourassa is a Media Specialist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. 

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http://so-l.ru/news/y/2013_12_17_treasury_notice_advances_federal_tax_equ Tue, 17 Dec 2013 00:05:35 +0400