Here's where we go for research on key topics. We have listed them by the subjects for which we use them most. But most of these sites also offer excellent information on other subjects as well.
Weiss Ratings -- our sister-company, Weiss Ratings evaluates the financial strength of more than 16,000 institutions, including life, health and annuity insurers, property and casualty insurers, HMOs, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, banks, and savings & loans, plus most large brokerage firms. The Weiss Ratings website publishes free lists of the WEAKEST financial institutions in America, based on the most recent Weiss Ratings. Their ratings have beat those of Moody's, Standard & Poor's and other major rating agencies hands down, according to the GAO. And, Weiss Ratings does not accept any compensation from the companies it rates, ensuring its independence and objectivity.
GAO - US General Accounting Office -- the accounting/investigative arm of the US Congress. Order their free reports. They are unbiased, usually hard-hitting, fact-filled investigative reports of controversial subjects such as derivatives, the public debt, and even an in-depth comparison of Weiss's own ratings track record as compared to those of Wall Street rating agencies. This last report can also be read on-line at our Weiss Ratings site.
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency -- part of the Treasury Department. OCC has information about banking, regulation, legislation, oversight and enforcement actions related to currency. It also has info on derivatives with figures, facts, charts, etc.
Bureau of Labor Statistics -- has good reliable data, research, most requested series of economic information, publication and research papers on employment as well as other economic data.
STAT-USA -- A lot of good economic info including press releases, general economic indicators, housing and construction, employment, etc.
The Department of Commerce -- Information about Business and Trade, economic statistics, Science and Technology and other services related to commerce.
Federal Reserve -- The Federal Reserve releases the Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States on a quarterly basis.
CIA - Central Intelligence Agency -- They have a FACT book on intelligence which has encyclopedic info on foreign countries.
Fraud and Consumer Deceptions
Federal Trade Commission -- Agency protecting consumers against deceptive commerce practices.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission --
Oversight agency on futures markets.
FedWorld -- Offers a comprehensive central access point for searching, locating, ordering and acquiring government and business information. Has 3 search engines but can be quite challenging to find something specific.
Federal Reserve Board of Governors -- A must visit site. Has great economic information including FOMC details, testimony and speeches, press releases, domestic and international research, regulation and supervision, consumer info and reports to Congress. One can find interest rates here back to 1950's plus an array of other economic historical data.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis -- Has good historical economic and monetary info which can be downloaded and updated frequently including zip files and an exe file. This is good for people who want to keep their own database of economic information.
BIS - Bank of International Settlements -- International banking statistics.
IMF - International Monetary Fund -- Best international statistics and research.
OECD - Organization for
Economic Co-operation and Development -- Good international info.
Investment Company Institute -- Good info on mutual funds, including stock and bond funds activity and retirement issues. It also has an email service with updates on latest info on their site. Wall Street often quotes their figures as the standard.
SEC - Securities and Exchange Commission --
Oversight agency on equity markets.
Securities Industry Association -- General information about securities, regulation, etc. Treasury securities, US debt.
Treasury Department -- Links to all
the bureaus and depts that are under the treasury supervision including. Good economic info such as the Office of Domestic Finance, Office of Economic Policy, Office of International Affairs among others. Also connected directly with the Comptroller of the Currency, and The Bureau of Public Debt.