Tags : banking

ICIJ discusses offshore project for broad-ranging audience

IRE hosted a Google Hangout on Tuesday with members of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who discussed their ongoing investigation into offshore banking secrets. The reporting began with a leaked cache of 2.5 million records, and has since involved -- at last count -- 86 journalist in 47 countries.

Viewers from all over the world tuned in to learn more about ICIJ's project. Cities with live viewers included Chicago, London, Madrid, Narpes in Finland, New York and San Diego.

In a discussion moderated by Wendell Cochran, former IRE board member and Senior Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop, the ...

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Atlanta-area banks missing tax payments

With a housing market once dubbed “ground zero” for mortgage fraud, Atlanta is still very much in the midst of the foreclosure crisis.

Even the nicest neighborhoods have been hit hard; the anecdotal evidence is everywhere. In poorer neighborhoods, entire blocks are deserted.

We initially had envisioned a series of reports quantifying the number of abandoned homes in a five-county area and explaining the reasons these houses sit neglected.

We brainstormed about which records would indicate a house had been abandoned.  We requested past due utility bills, code enforcement violations and unpaid property taxes. In Microsoft Excel, we built individual ...

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Covering the repurchase market and shadow banking

Veteran journalist Mary Fricker has put together a guide for the Reynolds Business Journalism Center on how to cover the repurchase market and shadow banking, which she says is "inherently unstable. It triggered the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. It’s a key reason that our recovery is weak. Yet in 2008, when the financial markets were collapsing, no one I knew had ever heard of it, including me. Now that’s a great story.”

The following elements are part of Fricker's coverage  guide:

Fricker has also helped put together ...

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CRA data helps track local small-business lending

 

When it comes to the economy, few players wield more power than the banks, the gatekeepers of money. They’ve been much maligned throughout the downturn, first for lending too much to the wrong people, then for not lending enough. Fortunately for journalists, banks are also among the most regulated entities in the world, giving us reams of data we can use to dig into their business.
 
As a finance reporter, I’ve been pseudo-obsessed with bank data for the past five years, using it in hundreds of stories. But with the volume of information coming out of sometimes arcane ...
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Bailed-out banks buying tax liens

After I learned the banks that had been bailed out by taxpayers had become the main purchasers of tax liens in Arizona, I knew I was onto a potentially big story.

I began interviewing several tax lien buyers and found that this was a common practice not only in Tucson and throughout Arizona, but all over the country. My goal was to use what was happening here as a window into the larger story.

From the beginning, I thought the key to the story was the fact that the bailed-out banks were using money to buy up tax liens rather ...

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