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  • D.C. Tax Office Scandal

    The District of Columbia struck an unprecedented number of deals behind closed doors this year with prominent commercial property owners who had appealed their tax assessments, reducing the city's tax base by $2.6 billion. The settlements were kept from the public for months until The Washington Post started mining public records and filing FOIAs, which the city routinely denied until the newspaper's lawyers got involved. The Post also learned that city leaders had kept critical internal audits about the tax office in "draft" format to prevent their release under FOIA. Through sources, The Post obtained the undisclosed reports -- along with a dozen other audits that had been kept from public view -- and published the findings for the first time. The series prompted the City Council to change the law to require the tax office to immediately make public all of its reports -- bringing a new level of transparency to a once secretive agency. The Securities and Exchange Commission also launched a probe to see if the city had kept critical findings from audits used to determine bond ratings. The inquiry is ongoing.
  • Quest for Transparency

    The investigations in the series come after Bloomberg News sued the Federal Reserve in 2008, seeking to force the disclosure of details related to the central bank's emergency assistance programs. After a lower court found in Bloomberg's favor, the Federal Reserve released a list of securities used to produce the stories.
  • "Black Money"

    This investigative report reveals that a "trillion dollars in bribes," are paid each year regardless of an international anti-bribery treaty that is in place. The bribes, also known as "black money," are used by "multinational companies" to get overseas business. The bribes cause a break in the "stability of governments" and "distort the marketplace."
  • Durham insider loans pile up

    Tim Durham “is one of Indiana’s highest-profile businesspeople” and appeared to be rising to the top of the super rich. But behind his image, a story of deception and lies is revealed. After an investigation of his company, Fair Finance Co., revealed this deception and he was accused of securities fraud. Also, he was alleged to be using a Ponzi scheme, “using money from new investors to pay off previous purchasers of investment certificates”. Now, Durham and his company face a number of lawsuits.
  • Loan Mods

    Homeowners whose mortgages were securitized by their banks and sold off were blocked from modifying the loans to avoid delinquent payments. Investors in the mortgage securities market believed they had incentive to keep people from refinancing, but the result exacerbated delinquent payments. A $75 billion federal program to reduce foreclosures by allowing consumers to renegotiate loans with banks was often rejected by banks on the grounds of investor disapproval.
  • Goldman Sachs: Low Road to High Finance

    After the collapse of the financial market in the United States, there were many key components which played a large role in the devastation to many Americans. These key components mainly focus on major financial institutions, which played a large role in manipulating the mortgage and mortgage security markets. Furthermore, the institutions that should be keeping them honest, failed to do so.
  • WAMU: Inside The Collapse

    It's October 2008: major banks are failing, Congress is bailing them out with taxpayer dollars. The public deserves to know how we got into the mess. ABC News Nightline's "Inside the Collapse" was first to expose a top-down, company-wide reckless lending strategy that led to the biggest bank failure in U.S. history: Washington Mutual Bank. Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas got inside Washington Mutual's culture and uncovered what really went wrong using original reporting, an exclusive whistleblower interview, a video of a jubilant company party, exclusive internal company documents, former employee interviews and victim interviews. His piece, as well as a follow-up on World news with Charles Gibson and articles on, caught the attention of law enforcement. Two days after the piece aired, federal prosecutors announced that because of "intense public interest" they were investigating the bank's activities with assistance from the FBI, FDIC, SEC and IRS. The story was widely reported in the national media in the following weeks.
  • Financial package

    "Hedge funds in swaps face peril with rising junk bond defaults" examined the complexity of credit default swaps, which are unregulated securities that were supposed to act as a form of insurance and protect investors against risk. "FDIC may need $150 billion bailout as local bank failures mount" reported that many regional banks in the country would fail within a year because they hadn't realized losses on defaulting mortgages. "Exploiting FDIC loopholes enriches former U.S. bank regulators" revealed that three former government employees created a for-profit company that exploits FDIC rules and helps millionaires insure up to $50 million in bank accounts guaranteed by the FDIC.
  • Fees on 401(k)s Rock Boomers Facing Flawed Disclosure

    Although 50 million people in the United States have retirement savings in 401(k) plans, almost no one understands how much they are paying for them and how much money they may be losing in hidden fees. Most modern-day retirement plans have as many as 17 different fees, most of which are not disclosed to employees.
  • Way Ahead of the Curve

    This is a series of three stories by senior writer David Evans that ran in the February, July and November issues of Bloomberg Markets magazine. In "The Risk Nightmare," (July 2008), Evans pierced the opacity and complexity of credit default swaps, unregulated securities that were supposed to act as a form of insurance and protect investors against risk. He found that CDS had built up so many interconnections that one player could jeopardize the entire financial system. In "Banks on the Edge" (November 2008), Evans reported that scores of regional banks across the U.S. would fail within a year because they hadn't yet realized their losses on defaulting mortgages. In "Peddling Tainted Debt to Florida," (February 2008), he reported that Lehman Brothers was both advising and selling toxic debt to Florida's "money market pool." This disclosure prompted a run on the pool, and it was then shut down as the state investigated its holding and worked to restore its creditworthiness.