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 "pension funds" ...

  • How Cash Sent the Portland Housing Market Spinning

    Cash is king in red-hot Portland real estate, representing a full one-third of single-family home sales in 2014. Lee van der Voo’s seven-part series on the Portland housing market has uncovered in stark outline the often-obscured influence of cash from developers, foreign buyers and Wall Street in driving affordable housing from the city. Twenty-six investors who purchased more than 10 homes for cash in the listed market in Multnomah County through the recession. Average Black and Native American households priced out of the city. A publicly traded company that is renting out more than 200 Portland-area homes in a new twist on the asset-securitization that drove the Great Recession. The pension funds of teachers and police officers invested in cash-rich Wall Street landlords who compete on the housing market with the very middle-class professionals whose pensions they hold. With van der Voo’s reporting, an economic crisis that everyone in town talked about but no one could explain was given names, faces and numbers — and a hope of being fixed.
  • Public Money, Private Profits

    David Sirota's run of coverage in the International Business Times lays bare how hedge funds, private equity investors and other professional money managers have penetrated an enormous and lucrative frontier – the roughly $3 trillion worth of public pension systems run by cities and states. The deal-making that has delivered this state of affairs has been laced with conflicts of interest and ethics breaches. Sirota produced a blockbuster scoop showing how the head of New Jersey’s pension system, the former private equity executive Robert Grady, had been in direct contact with top political staff working for the reelection of Gov. Chris Christie just as major campaign contributions were pouring into Christie’s coffers from financial services companies with contracts to manage state pension funds – an apparent violation of state and federal pay-to-play laws.
  • Good as gold: State pensions facing scrutiny

    Public employees in Ohio have better wages and benefits than the taxpayers who support them. Taxpayer money funds the system which allows workers to retire a decade or more sooner than workers in the private sector. Also, more than one in four public school superindentents had received pension payments and salary simultaneously.
  • The Perfect Pension Fund

    Florida's public pension system is not as perfect as it seems. The investigation finds a pattern of misleading statements and oversight failures by the agency that manages the pension funds, State Board of Administration. It also shows that the three elected officials who oversaw the agency, including Florida's former governor, ignored personal conflicts of interest and misled the public on the poor condition of the pension fund.
  • "Clusterbomb" and "Bank Secrets"

    In "Clusterbomb," the Dutch pension funds are the second biggest in the world. ZEMBLA sought to find out which companies they used for investing and why this information was not accessible to the public. "Bank Secrets" looked at what banks do with their savings and in which companies is this money invested.
  • The Illinois Pension Scandal

    The investigation found numerous instances in which major investment firms quietly paid hefty consultant fees to political players who helped them land business in Illinois pension funds.
  • Sinkhole

    "Sinkhole" examines how public pensions are drastically underfunded all over the country. In order to meet legal obligations to cover pension funds for teachers, firefighters, police and other public employees, local governments are facing some very tough budgetary decisions. Tax increases, cutting teaching staff and closing libraries are some of the measures being taken.
  • "City Pensions"

    Reporters from KTRK-TV's 13 Undercover unit go behind the scenes to find out the reason for the increased cost of providing pensions for city workers in Houston. What they found was an extravagant misappropriation of funds, illegal gifts to members of Houston Firefighter Pension Board , as well as the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System. Board members were accused of taking trips around the world with their spouses, using money from the workers' pension funds. As a result of their investigation, Houston's mayor notified board appointees of the consequences of illegal gifts, and an investigation has been initiated for one pension board.
  • Penson Fund Follies

    Public retirement systems came into sharp focus and criticism after Connecticut State Treasurer Paul Silvester was found guilty of taking kickbacks in return for placing investment money with five private funds. 'Governing' analyzes the current glitches in the investments of public pension funds. Also posited, are possible quick-fixes that might need to be implemented if the retired are to feel more safe about their money.
  • Union Pension Power

    The Nation looks at how "labor is mobilizing its investment power to pressure corporate America."