Category Archives: Financial Markets and Institutions

As TARP Turns 10, Looking Back at the U.S. Government’s Assistance to the Banking Sector

Ten years ago this week, Congress responded to turmoil in the financial markets by creating the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Through TARP, the Treasury Department disbursed a total of $440 billion to help stabilize the financial system, restore economic … Continue reading

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Is The Regulatory Environment Stifling Financial Innovation?

Financial regulatory oversight in the United States is complex and fragmented, with different rules across multiple regulators at both the federal and state level. And, while this is true for all financial institutions, new entrants known as financial technology (fintech) … Continue reading

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Ensuring Balanced Financial Regulation

Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act 8 years ago in response to the worst financial crisis in more than 75 years. In May of this year, Congress passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. Both the new law and … Continue reading

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Understanding Derivatives One Swap at a Time

Did you ever agree to swap your PB&J sandwich for your friend’s bologna sandwich? If so, you did a nonfinancial swap. Since the 1980s, bankers have applied that basic concept to create financial contracts to swap a wide range of … Continue reading

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What You Need to Know about Mortgages and Equity

Ah, springtime: when “for sale” signs start popping up with the daffodils and crocuses! Before you call your real estate agent, you might want to read up on some of the more technical aspects of homebuying—like exactly what homeownership can … Continue reading

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It’s 10 PM–Do You Know Where Your Financial Data Is?

Advancements in technology like the Internet and smartphones are changing how we pay, borrow, and invest. Financial technology (a.k.a. fintech) products—including payments, lending, wealth management, and others—generally provide benefits to consumers, such as convenience and lower costs. But there are risks … Continue reading

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What Does It Take to Work on Wall Street?

Is the financial field still a “boys only” club? And who has the skills and credentials to work on Wall Street? Today’s WatchBlog explores these questions and our recent report on the management-level representation of women and minorities and diversity … Continue reading

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May the Fourth Be Well Insured

You should have pretty good insurance before handing your car keys to Han Solo. While we don’t have insights into the Millennium Falcon’s insurance policy, the federal government has helped the commercial space launch industry since 1988 by sharing the … Continue reading

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Small Businesses and Financial Technology

In today’s world, it’s not unusual for people to go online to conduct all kinds of business that used to be done face-to-face. It is not surprising then that new technologies are being used to provide financial services directly to … Continue reading

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Taking a Big Bite in GAO’s New Podcasts

The concept behind GAO’s original Watchdog Report podcast was to take a long report and distill it to a 5-minute conversation about the bottom line. We think it’s been pretty well received—we have over 400,000 downloads of our episodes and … Continue reading

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