Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "bond" ...

  • WSJ: When Wall Street Flips Municipal Bonds, Towns and Schools Pay the Price

    A yearlong investigation uncovered how Wall Street firms profit and local governments often lose out when they sell bonds in the municipal market. The Wall Street Journal combined sources to create an unprecedented database of municipal bond trades to show how the securities firms governments pay to sell their debt routinely underprice those bonds, unload them with very little risk, then often buy them back at higher prices. Those not bought back also run up in price as other securities firms snap them up and resell them.
  • The Marshall Project: The Bail Bond Racket

    Many journalists have detailed the financial costs the bail bond industry imposes on poor or minority families. This article is the first to expose, in detail and to the penny, the financial benefits reaped by the bail bond industry, using the lightly regulated state of Mississippi as case in point.
  • CALmatters: With California school bonds, the rich get richer and the poor, not so much

    Over the last two decades, voters in California have approved unprecedented amounts of local school bonds – to the tune of $113 billion – to modernize school facilities. But, as a CALmatters data analysis has found, schools in the state’s wealthiest communities have been reaping far more of that money than California’s poorer schools.
  • Rape Victim Jailed: Jenny's Story

    A mentally ill rape victim who had a breakdown on the witness stand while testifying against her attacker was thrown in jail by the Harris County District Attorney's Office for nearly a month. Prosecutors worried she would not return weeks later to complete her testimony. The prosecutor’s conduct and the abuse the rape victim was subjected to in jail was exposed by the reporters. The reporters exposed a series of mistakes by jail staff that further victimized the woman. The outrage and fallout from their reporting quickly became the central campaign issue in the race for Harris County District Attorney between incumbent Devon Anderson and challenger Kim Ogg. On election night, Ogg defeated Anderson by a 7 point margin and cited the “Jenny” story as the defining issue of the campaign in her acceptance speech. Ogg fired the prosecutor who handled the case and started a new sex crimes unit to protect victims and witnesses. State senators on both sides of the aisle filed new legislation for the 2017 session to mandate legal representation for witnesses held on bonds for their testimony, a statewide solution to the problem the reporters exposed.
  • Bonds & Fees

    Amarillo had a November election that included seven bond issues. The city council also decided to increase water fees over a five-year period. This story explores the total cost to tax payers if all the bonds pass and all the water fees go into effect.
  • Locked Up For Being Poor In South Carolina Jails

    An analysis of bond data from multiple sources shows poor defendants who struggle to pay a cash bond spend more time in jail before trail and are more likely to be convicted of a crime or plead guilty than those who have the means to post bond. http://wspa.com/2016/05/05/locked-up-for-being-poor-in-south-carolina-jails/
  • Lobbying Public Agencies by Day, Guarding Public Dollars by Night

    Andy Berg lobbies public and private agencies for electrician jobs by day, and by night he chairs the San Diego Unified school bond oversight committee, a group tasked with ensuring the district's $4.9 billion in bond dollars are spent as promised to voters without waste. The fact that following the bond money leads you to the pockets of many of Berg’s electricians and his bosses, he says, is inconsequential.
  • Corruption at Houston Community College

    Higher Education Reporter Ben Wermund dug into a variety of public records from multiple agencies and from a legal battle to track how the leaders one of the nation’s largest community colleges had wasted millions of a nearly half-billion-dollar bond package. He fought hard for records that the college repeatedly attempted to hide and found ingenious ways to document misspending, secret meetings and illegal or unethical decisions that resulted in immediate response, reforms in open meeting procedures and ongoing investigations.
  • Qatar: The Price of Glory 2015

    The Price of Glory is an HBO Real Sports investigation into Qatar’s plan to achieve international recognition through sport and the price it has exacted in fair play, human rights, and even human lives. Our investigation found that the Qatari sports plan is one of unprecedented ambition and ruthlessness, based on the exploitation of foreign labor on and off the field. To build world-class athletic teams, Qatar has crisscrossed the world, paying athletes from the poorest countries on earth to become naturalized Qatari citizens. Real Sports heard it first hand from an entire team of Bulgarian weightlifters paid by Qatar to assume Arabic identities and represent the Gulf state in international competition. Our story detailed the systemic bribery that allowed this stiflingly hot desert sheikhdom without a soccer tradition to improbably win the right to host the 2022 World Cup. Ten months before a series of arrests of FIFA officials suspected of taking bribes, Real Sports spoke with a former FIFA insider about the corrupt bidding process, and detailed how Qatari officials bought their way to the very top of world soccer by plying FIFA officials on five continents. Off the field, Real Sports documented how Qatar’s sports glory is built on the backs of hundreds of thousands of the poorest people in Asia, imported and indentured to create a lavish World Cup city in the desert. Our team watched workers toil in 117-degree heat and followed them into the decrepit labor camps few outsiders have seen in order to expose the brutal conditions in which they are bonded into effective slavery. Viewers will see why thousands of these migrant workers are projected to die on the job by the time the 2022 World Cup games begin. When we first aired the piece the Qatari government told us changes were coming and that we should stand by. We took them up on their offer and revisited the situation a year later, only to find that none of the changes to the bonded labor system—known as Kafala—had taken place. In fact Nepali migrant workers were even prohibited from returning home after a massive earthquake ravaged their country. Worse still—our follow-up investigation found that some of the top people in Qatari sport weren’t just using their money to buy athletes, they were using it to fund terrorist organizations and invite radical jihadi clerics to speak at their elite sports academy. Our project spanned four years of research, four continents, and scores of interviews with athletes, activists, migrant workers, FIFA insiders, and US government officials.
  • Pension Crisis

    Jacksonville’s Police and Fire Pension Fund is in crisis. The fund has about 43 cents available for every dollar promised to its retired police officers and fire fighters. Now $2.88 billion, the multiplying city debt is threatening the city’s financial stability. Bond ratings have been downgraded. City projects have been scuttled. Bankruptcy is feared. The recent recession isn’t the only thing that crippled the fund. Deals done in secret, deals hidden for more than a decade and sweetheart deals that allowed a select few to skirt regulations and retire from public service jobs with hundreds of thousands of extra dollars they weren’t entitled to are also to blame.