Deputy head of top news, Americas
Claudia's Feed
Dec 3, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Waiter, there’s a bug in my orange juice

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When former  beauty queen Anita Bryant chirped more than four decades ago: “A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine,” she wasn’t talking about green oranges or genetically altered ones, but that was then.

Now, an insect-borne bacterial disease known as “greening” threatens the very survival of Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry. Calvin Arnold, a scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, believes genetic engineering holds the only hope for a cure.

Dec 3, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

The ETF war is hotting up

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BOSTON – A battle royal is shaping up in the world of exchange-traded funds. After years of trailing in the race to attract new money from ETF investors, fund giant Vanguard is poised to take the top spot from iShares this year. But the big winners will be investors who are seeing fees plummet.

Aaron Pressman looks at the winners and losers in his special report “What did you do in the ETF war, daddy?”

Nov 29, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Weird weather and the Amazon

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As scientists from around the world gather in Cancun for the latest U.N. conference on climate change, Stuart Grudgings reports from Caapiranga, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, for his special report “Weird weather leaves Amazon thirsty.

This year’s drought in the Amazon was the kind of thing experts call a ”once in a century” event. Unfortunately, it was the second one in five years.

Nov 19, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Escape from Wall Street

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Leah Schnurr and Edward Krudy report today on retail investors fleeing the stock market. Will the Lost Decade create a Lost Generation of investors who avoid the market in a way not seen since the Great Depression?

Here’s what one of the authors had to say about the story:

By Edward Krudy

The perception that the stock market is a place where the average person can share in the wealth of the nation has been a cornerstone of American society throughout the twentieth century. That’s why we felt it was a big deal when small investors started to abandon the market.

Nov 18, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

SAC Capital’s Steve Cohen yells fore!

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Matthew Goldstein

Wall Street and golf have had  a long and storied love affair. And over the years, many a hedge fund manager has given up the trading game to spend more time on the links.

But the revelation that SAC Capital has hired a former institutional stock broker to spend most of his time on prestigious golf courses, schmoozing corporate executives and wealthy investors, is another stark example of what separates hedge fund managers from mere mortal investors.  As several securities experts told me, it doesn’t really matter whether or not a corporate executive says anything of real substance to Steve Cohen’s unofficial golf pro, Sam Evans. What matters is that Cohen and his traders are getting the kind of unique and intimate access to corporate executives that ordinary investors can never dream of.

Nov 15, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

A one-woman Enron

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Our latest special report, “Was a Houston energy trader a one-woman Enron?” examines the case of an obscure energy trader in Houston who prosecutors say managed to scam $6.8 million from major energy companies.

Stephanie Roqumore was pretty much unknown in the natural gas trading community, but somehow she was able to make million dollar purchases of natural gas on credit, according to court papers.

Nov 9, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Surviving the patent cliff

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Ransdell Pierson examines the outlook for drugmaker Eli Lilly today in a special report “Lilly’s survival plan is far from generic.”

The 134-year-old company faces a sharp fall in profits as patents expire in the coming years for some of its key drugs. It’s a common problem in the industry, as this graphic shows.

Nov 9, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Food for thought before Veterans Day

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By Nick Carey

After reading my special report “For U.S. veterans, the war after the war,” a colleague asked me what the impetus for the story was and how I went about getting it.

The starting point is actually mentioned in passing in the report. In August, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came to Chicago and gave a speech at the Executives’ Club of Chicago. I was sent to cover the event for Reuters and wondered in advance why on earth Mullen would come to speak to the city’s business community, instead of, say, veterans’ groups.

Nov 4, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

The fresh Prince of Brunei

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By Mark Hosenball

The veins of Prince Jefri of Brunei may course with Royal blood and, though depleted by years of lawsuits, his bank accounts probably still hold enough riches to fund an imperial lifestyle. But the brother of the Sultan of Brunei didn’t get much respect from British High Court Judge Sir Peter Smith when, two years ago, Jefri failed to appear in court for a scheduled cross-examination on his tangled legal and financial affairs. (For a special report on Prince Jefri’s legal battles, click here. )

Sir Peter, who gained international attention  as the Judge who wove his own secret message into a ruling he handed down rejecting a literary theft claim filed against “Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown, showed little deference to Prince Jefri’s royal status when handing down a decision to issue a bench warrant for the prince’s immediate arrest if he sets foot on British soil.

Nov 3, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

How to make friends and influence people

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White House correspondent Caren Bohan’s special report out today examines President Barack Obama’s testy relationship with the business community.

After Tuesday’s election, Obama was faced with the prospect of legislative gridlock. Republicans pushed Democrats decisively from power in the House of Representatives and strengthened their ranks in the Senate as voters vented frustration over the economy.