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 "tycoons" ...

  • OCCRP: Paradise Leased: The Theft of the Maldives

    Maldives tourism isn’t all swaying palm trees and white sand beaches. The truth is something far uglier. Thanks to a trove of leaked files, OCCRP reporters have uncovered the details of an audacious multi-million dollar scheme that saw dozens of Maldivian islands leased out to developers in no-bid deals — and the money then stolen. While local tycoons and international investors cashed in, the people of this island paradise in the Indian Ocean saw precious little. The revelations also include fresh evidence that implicates the Maldives’ authoritarian president, Abdulla Yameen, in the scandal.
  • Can You Fight Poverty With A Five-Star Hotel?

    My story is about the World Bank’s private investing arm, the International Finance Corporation, the IFC. It reveals that the IFC is a profit-oriented, deal-driven organization that not only fails to fight poverty, its stated mission, but may exacerbate it in its zeal to earn a healthy return on investment. The article details my investigation through hundreds of primary source and other documents, dozens of interviews around the world and my trip to Ghana to see many projects first-hand, to recount that the IFC hands out billions in cut-rate loans to wealthy tycoons and giant multinationals in some of the world’s poorest places. My story details the IFC’s investments with a who’s who of giant multinational corporations: Dow Chemical, DuPont, Mitsubishi, Vodafone, and many more. It outlines that the IFC funds fast-food chains like Domino's Pizza in South Africa and Kentucky Fried Chicken in Jamaica. It invests in upscale shopping malls in Egypt, Ghana, the former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. It backs candy-shop chains in Argentina and Bangladesh; breweries with global beer behemoths like SABMiller and with other breweries in the Czech Republic, Laos, Romania, Russia, and Tanzania; and soft-drink distribution for the likes of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and their competitors in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mali, Russia, South Sudan, Uzbekistan, and more. The criticism of most such investments -- from a broad array of academics, watchdog groups and local organizations in the poor countries themselves -- is that these investments make little impact on poverty and could just as easily be undertaken without IFC subsidies. In some cases, critics contend, the projects hold back development and exacerbate poverty, not to mention subjecting affected countries to pollution and other ills.
  • Empire: A Tale of Obsession, Betrayal and the Battle for an American Icon

    Pacelle's book "traces the decade-long battle for control of the Empire State Building, in which real estate tycoons from the United States and Japan accused one another of various forms of deceit and criminality." The author reveals how Hideki Yokoi, a controversial Japanese tycoon, managed to buy the building without disclosing his identity to the seller, Prudential Insurance Co. The book follows the labyrinth of accusations, lawsuits and jailings stemming from the ownership battles, and reports on the involvement of "such well-known New York real estate people as Donald Trump and Leona Helmsley."
  • Campaign Finance Goes Global

    In this article, Bussey, who covers international politics, economics and business for the Miami Herald, writes that leaders such as Helmut Kohl, Ehud Barak, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Boris Yeltsin "have seen their legacies sullied or their parties shaken by campaign finance scandals." Bussey discusses the financial demands of modern political campaigning in various countries, and how tycoons are increasingly buying access to these politicians.
  • The Kosovo Connection

    The Montreal Gazette investigates the criminal connections of the Kosovo Liberation Army, the Albanian rebel group defended and entrenched in power by NATO's campaign in Yugoslavia. The report exposes the KLA's links to heroin and prostitution rings that have flourished throughout Europe and North America largely through its help and contends that the group's profit from crime has continued since the war.