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 "bonds" ...

  • 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.
  • Borrowing Trouble

    For years, Chicago taxpayers have been paying an exorbitant price for the faulty financial decisions of school officials – only they didn’t know it. Not surprisingly, leaders of the city’s public schools weren’t advertising the high costs of the losing bets they had placed in a risky debt market. Over the life of the deals, Chicago Public Schools will likely end up paying $100 million more than it would have if officials had stuck with traditional fixed-rate bonds. The story implicated state lawmakers, the school district's financial advisors, and the current school board president in the disastrous deals.
  • Building debt: $2 billion in bonds approved in districts formed by developers

    The story is about a series of obscure government agencies that are quietly building up more than $2 billion in debt in Denton County, Texas. The county ranks fifth among Texas counties with 62 and first in North Texas of the little-known special water districts, a type of government entity used by developers to finance infrastructure for residential and commercial developments. The story reveals how the districts debt and numbers proliferated after the state decided to halt related investigation and they deemed the investigations a waste of government resources.
  • When Lions Roar

    An ambitious and original history of the deeply entwined personal and public lives of the Churchills and the Kennedys and the lasting impact of these bonds on Great Britain and the United States When Lions Roar opens in the mid-1930s with U.S. ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy's first visit to Chartwell, Churchill's country estate, and the questionable business dealings that initially linked these powerful men.
  • Broken Bonds

    A Tribune investigation revealed how Chicago’s leaders blew through nearly $20 billion in bond money – a reckless pattern of borrowing that undermined the city’s future by spending on worthless projects, structuring financial deals in ways that could run afoul of Internal Revenue Service rules and piling an unsustainable level of debt onto the shoulders of future generations.
  • Not Just the NSA Tracking Cellphones

    We uncovered search warrants that show not just big agencies like the FBI or NSA, but small local police departments are taking data off thousands of cell phones belonging to people not suspected of a crime. While this data is sometimes used to track bad guys, we found one case where it was used to track someone who stole a sheriff’s gun out of his car. Police can gather data from thousands of phones with almost no legal structure on what can and can’t be done with the data. No one is monitoring police and there are no federal rules on when a ‘tower dump’ should or should not be authorized. In some cases in South Carolina, police can keep all of the information they receive in a database for 7 years. It’s all happening without the public ever being told data from their cell phone was gathered by police.