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

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Search results for "securities" ...

  • Enron Coverage

    The Wall Street Journal reports on the first signs of the Enron crisis. The stories explore "the inner financial workings" of the corporation, and focus on its private partnerships which had escaped public view. The series also looks at how the partnerships made profits for executives personally involved in them, and how this distorted Enron's financial picture by enriching insiders at the expense of investors. The Journal stories have been considered by Enron "as one of the principal reasons for the catastrophic collapse of investor confidence that sank the company."
  • California Utilities' Donations Shed Light on Blackout Crisis

    In an effort to find a fresh angle to the California energy crisis, the Center for Public Integrity discovers that the major utilities in the troubled state have spent tens of millions of dollars toward political activities since 1994. Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., Edison International and Sempra Energy in an all-out effort put a total of $39 million in 1998 "to defeat Proposition 9, a statewide referendum that would have overturned parts of the 1996 deregulation law." The moneys were spent on campaign contributions to "a handful of select lawmakers," lobbying activities, gifts, travel and other compensation, including those from industry-backed non-profit organizations.
  • Under the Influence

    A Camas Magazine investigative series "chronicles the ongoing controversy of a public/private partnership so faulty that it seriously threatens the fiscal, political and civic health" of Spokane. The partnership, known as River Park Square, was the developer of an upscale shopping mall. The stories reveal that the private party in the partnership - Spokane's most powerful family, the Cowleses, owners of the Spokane Review and the local NBC station - covered up the faults of the project by abusing media power. The construction of the shopping mall was financed "with a $23 million loan from the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency and $32 million of tax-exempt bonds secured by city parking meter revenues and a limited pledge of general fund revenue." The result: today the new mall is almost empty and facing bankruptcy, and the city and the taxpayers are losing money.
  • Avon Products: The Ultimate CRM Machine

    Baseline examines the failed affair of the cosmetics company Avon with information-technology business. Avon wanted to sell via the Internet, and to transform paper-based processes into electronic ones. The result: "The company burned through three chief information officers and came close to doing away with its main asset - its powerful Avon lady sales force...." The story reports on Avon's "missteps and self-corrections over the course of the past decade."
  • Dressed to kill

    Business Week tells the story of how one of the dot-com companies, Critical Path, "wound up being accused of accounting irregularities." The article reveals that "greed, colliding personalities and a long-shot bet made with shareholder money ... derailed the promising company." Critical Path eventually became the target of an SEC probe, and shelled out $17 million to settle shareholder suits.
  • The Kid And The Con Man

    Money investigates 15-year old stock whiz Jonathan Lebed, who paid more than $300,000 to the SEC for "pumping and dumping" stocks. What Money shows is that two years before he became a national celebrity, Lebed was the mouthpiece for some very questionable stocks run by a known serial-swindler. The SEC finally intervened and Lebed, temporarily, got out of the online stock promotions game.
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Managed Earnings

    Fortune looks at some accounting methods that most top corporations use to "manage earnings," in other words - to inflate their financial results in order to meet Wall Street expectations. The Securities and Exchange Commission declared war on the "accounting hocus-pocus," as making the numbers was becoming a widespread practice amongst publicly-owned companies, the magazine reports. The story raises the question whether the uncannily disciplined growth of American corporations in the last decade was not due to their "cooked books," another term for accounting beyond the rules. Several major accounting fraud investigations in recent years are pointed to as examples of chicanery.
  • Edifice Complex: Real Estate Magnate Draws Shareholder Ire For Odd Deal Making

    The Wall Street Journal looks at the business practices of Transcontinental Realty Investor's Inc., managed by Gene E. Phillips, "one of the most controversial figures in publicly traded real estate." The story reports on the charges against Phillips, including "racketeering and wire fraud as a part of an alleged scheme to pay kick-backs to corrupt pension-fund officials in exchange for investing with one of the companies he controlled." The investigation reveals that Phillips was "chiefly responsible" for the collapse of Southmark, another real-estate company, according to the report of a bankruptcy examiner. The reporter sheds light on the role of Basic Capital, a real-estate advisory company, in Phillips' questionable deals.
  • The Trouble with Frank

    The Fortune Magazine investigates the business of Frank Quattrone, "the top investment banker in Silicon Valley", whose firm has become "exhibit A in a probe of shady IPO deals." The story describes how Quattrone "came to personify ... the wildly speculative Internet bubble." The authors reveal that Quattrone's actions have involved Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and Credit Suise First Boston into risky operations. The story sheds light on the federal investigations of six East Coast sales and trading officials facing "charges for taking inflated commissions - essentially kickbacks - in exchange for doling out hot tech IPO shares in 1999 and 2000."
  • Sweet $233 million win goes sour

    This National Law Journal story focuses on the difficulties that lawyers may experience in collecting money awarded by court verdicts. The reporter describes the case of a New York businessman who was awarded $233 million by a Dallas jury, but his lawyers faced a long battle to collect the money. The investigation sheds light on the securities fraud conducted by the defendants, and follows the steps they have undertaken to avoid paying the award to the plaintiffs.