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]g where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "investments" ...

  • Priorities Rule the Roads

    Missouri ranks second to the last in the condition of its major roads while Kansas ranks seventh nationally. "Several experts say the reason for the difference is simple: money per mile. The less a state spends per mile, the longer roads go without repair, the more they deteriorate and the harder they are to fix. Missouri's 1999 road budget provided just $12,399 in capital investments per lane mile that year, compared with $29,227 in Kansas. The national average was $23,967. The legislature has at least five pending bills and Gov. Holden has sought as much as $650 million for new funding. However, transportation experts says for every $1 the state pays to keep a good mile of road, it takes $10 to restore a mile of bad road." Missouri now must struggle to pay for the new technologies in road repair that they had so long put off.
  • The Real Threat to America's Power

    A Fortune investigation reveals that not only is California suffering from a generator shortage, "but overloaded power lines pose a much greater risk of blowing the fuses of the national economy." The story reveals the results of a study finding that "since 1975, annual utility investments in the U.S. power transmission system have fallen by more than half, to about $2 billion, ... [and] meanwhile, sales of power loaded onto the lines have risen more than 100-fold since mid-decade." The report details how "operators of the grid are forced to run it ever closer to its limits" and points to a number of examples of "gridwide voltage drop" or mysterious slowing. The investigation explains how "peak-time line congestion pushes wholesale power prices sky-high." The author warns that this trend "is the main threat to the system nationwide."
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

    Reporters took "an in-depth look at the ethical conflicts raised when law firms invest in clients' initial public offerings. The story revealed that one of every three companies that went public in 1999 had allowed the law firm representing it to take an equity interest in the company. Lawyers' holdings in more than 40 percent of the companies were worth more than $1 million each. The practice does not violate lawyer ethics rules, but in the past, the legal profession has frowned on the idea."
  • "Inside World Marketing Alliance"

    "The World Marketing Alliance's nearly 11,000 licensed securities brokers comprise the fourth-largest broker sales force in the country, yet the company passes under the radar of most journalists ... Unlike its better-known financial peers, the company applies an Amway-like sale structure that often runs counter to investors' best interests. To support the layered compensation structure, brokers must sell high commission products. And to earn more money, brokers must recruit other brokers, a system that fosters a decentralized sales culture in which rogue brokers can operate undetected."
  • Investment gone sour a 'Betrayal of Trust'

    A Sacramento Business Journal investigation of the Christian Reformed Church revealed that church members nationwide were "scammed out of their retirement investments solicited by a trusted fellow church member. The funds, over a 16-year span, amounted to $180 million, which was co-mingled in 255 limited partnerships formed in an alleged 'Ponzi scheme,' which eventually collapsed in bankruptcy."
  • A Flock Divided

    This article looks into the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Foundation, a church that made some risky investments, and whose parishioners are now suing over those losses.
  • Global Capitalism: Can it be made to work?

    Business Week's series of special reports focus on various aspects of sweatshops, global investments, international labor, etc. "It's hard to figure how a term that once connoted so much good for the world has fallen into such disrepute. In the past decade, globalization has undeniably contributed to America's New Economy boom." Helpful graphs accompany these reports.
  • Money Men Liked Boo and Boo Liked Money; Then It All Went Poof

    The Journal takes a look at the case of the internet start-up of Boo.com, an online clothing vendor who went bankrupt a few months after receiving millions in investments from such firms as J.P. Morgan.
  • Ready, Aim... Scam

    Florida Trend looks at the growing wealth in the Naples area, and how this is attracting financial scam artists.
  • Medical billing fraud

    For investments of about $1,000, a California telemarketing company promised to set up a home-based business for Nebraskans and Iowans to do medical billing for doctors. The investors later discovered that no doctors wanted their service.