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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "debt" ...

  • Digging Up Dirt on Flowers

    Regional Superintendent Charles Flowers misused close to $400,000 in public money on personal and family expenses. Investigation into the office operations of Flower's yielded accounts of lavish spending on capital equipment for a department already mired in debt. As a result of the reporting, Flowers' irresponsible and corrupt behavior was exposed and he eventually was charged.
  • Forgive Us Our Debts

    Increasing abuse by debt collectors not only violates federal law, but is indicative of a growing $60 billion market for reselling debt. The massive market resembles the unstable mortgage-security market, and collapse could put the economy on the brink again. Additionally, tactics used by debt collectors are abusive and often unfounded on any hard evidence of consumer debt. The debt resale market is plagued with problems that surface in this investigation.
  • Home Wreckers: How Banks are Making the Foreclosure Crisis Worse

    The article explores how major lenders are lobbying in Washington to deter legislation to solve the foreclosure crisis. Banks feel that any action from Washington will give courts more power to shrink mortgage debt for borrowers which banks say could result in less bank profit, irresponsible borrowing and higher borrowing costs.
  • A Crime So Monstrous

    "Skinner digs deep to find slaves, slave traders and slave masters in the frontlines of the third world war zones, in rotting urban ghettos, even in suburban America."
  • Credit Troubles

    This series looks into some of the hidden traps and power imbalances that characterize the credit industry. Business Week spoke with executives, employees and consumers of various arms of the credit industry.
  • The Financial Collapse

    Among the findings in this package are: In February, Morgenson warned that the arcane contracts known as credit-default swaps were so volatile and explosive that they would "set off a chain reaction of losses at financial institutions." In May, she examined the moves by private investment firms to buy up hundreds of New York apartment buildings, betting that they could evict tenants and raise rents. In July, she reported on the enormous increase in consumer debt and the changes in the lending system that encouraged risky loans. In September, she dissected the small London Investment unit that had bedazzled the insurance giant AIG with its profits but soon brought it to its knees and helped trigger a widespread collapse. In November, she profiled the reckless executives who gambled on subprime home mortgages and led Merrill Lynch to its demise. In December, she held the credit-rating agencies to sharp account, in particular Moody's, showing how they had minimized or overlooked the dangers to investors.
  • Jefferson County (Ala.) Sewer Bonds: Penetrating the Fog of Municipal Debt

    Until early 2008, no one paid attention to Jefferson County sewer debt. That is when auction-rate-security auctions began to fail and two municipal bond insurers for county bonds were downgraded. Soon, the most populous county in Alabama faced the threat of the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
  • The Credit Trap

    This series ties lax credit card lending and punishing fee practices to the housing boom, to consumers' mounting financial distress, and to the economic downturn. The reports revealed that during the housing boom, banks sharply raised card limits in part because of a surge in home equity, much of it now vanished. Then banks guided borrowers to tap into rising home equity to pay off card balances, putting their homes at risk.
  • NASA

    These stories take a hard look at NASA's plans to return humans to the moon and focus on the agency's decision to retire the space shuttle and build a revolutionary new rocket to replace it. The reporting documents actions by American's space agency that threaten to leave thousands of Floridians without jobs and America's space program bankrupt and grounded for years. It also exposes a NASA culture of decision making that is little changed from the one blamed for the deaths of the seven Columbia astronauts.
  • In Their Dust

    The Baltimore Sun discovered that unbeknownst to state regulators and legislators, non-profit hospitals were suing tens of thousands of patients in local courts over unpaid bills even though those bills were covered through the rate-setting system. Some of the hospitals that filed the most lawsuits were also collecting consistent surpluses on unpaid and charity care through the rate-setting formula, something that the rate-setting commission could not explain. Patients were often railroaded through the legal system. And hospitals violated state laws or contracts with insurance companies by suing patients for amounts they were not permitted to collect.