Deputy head of top news, Americas
Claudia's Feed
Nov 1, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

How visible is the hand of Treasury in steering GM?

By Kevin Krolicki

“What we are not doing — what I have no interest in doing — is running GM.”  — President Barack Obama, June 2009.

GM has undergone massive changes in the nearly year and a half since the Obama administration stepped in to save and restructure the company in bankruptcy to spare it from liquidation and to save hundreds of thousands of American jobs.

Oct 29, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

How long can banks keeps ignoring home equity loans?

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By Matthew Goldstein

The $425 billion in home equity loans and other second mortgages sitting on the balance sheet of the  four biggest U.S. commercial banks is the big gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about. (See our latest special report here.)

The banks, for their part, generally have downplayed concerns about so-called second liens on mortgages. Bankers point out that less than 5 percent of home equity loans and other second mortgages are delinquent and lenders have been taking charge-offs for second liens deemed uncollectable.

Oct 27, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Sleepy in Seattle — the future of Microsoft

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The world’s biggest software maker once inspired fear in tech land. Today it’s mostly yawns. Is Microsoft no longer a growth company? Should Google be nervous, too? And are Steve Ballmer’s days at the helm numbered?

Seattle correspondent Bill Rigby’s special report has some answers.

Oct 27, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Spoiling the party

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Last month The New York Times had a story about Arizona Republicans putting up homeless people as candidates for the Green Party in elections there. Now Murray Waas, our Barlett & Steele award winner, has a special report about Democratic Party shenanigans. 

Waas went to Pennsylvania’s 7th district to show how Democrats helped get Tea Party activist Jim Schneller (left) on the ballot, hoping to siphon off votes from the Republican candidate.

Oct 26, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Poor Haiti, again

By Pascal Fletcher

If any country deserves the description “blighted”, or a “blot on the conscience of the world”, it is surely Haiti, that pocket of poverty lying in the blue Caribbean just two hours flying time from the richest country on the planet.

Less than 10 months since a huge earthquake jolted the small but densely populated nation of 10 million people, toppling brick homes like cards in the hilly capital Port-au-Prince and killing more than half a million souls, a deadly cholera epidemic is now killing more Haitians by the dozen as an aghast world looks on in another paroxysm of sympathy.

Oct 22, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

America’s “Dreamless Dead”

Washington economics correspondent Emily Kaiser delves into plutonomies and what pollster John Zogby calls the “Dreamless Dead” for her special report on income inequality in the United States.

 
 

Here are some interesting numbers from the OECD on how the wealth gap in America compares to other countries. (Full disclosure — I’m British)

Oct 21, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Following the money in O’Donnell’s campaign

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Mark Hosenball has been in Delaware and Pennsylvania reporting on the midterm election campaign for our special report “Conservative donors let Christine O’Donnell sink.”

If that’s not enough O’Donnell for you, here’s his report from a bastion of conservative thinking in Delaware:

Oct 15, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Flash crash fallout

From Europe to India, policymakers are grappling with the fallout from the harrowing, 20-minute stock market meltdown in May that was quickly dubbed the “flash crash”. Electronic markets are suddenly suspect. But will regulators try to reign in modern trading advances?

Jonathan Spicer examines the likely impact on exchanges around the world in our latest special report: “Globally, the flash crash is no flash in the pan.”

Oct 14, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

For hedge fund titans, the long and the short of it

Our latest special report profiles one of the more colorful figures in the hedge fund world — William Ackman. Wall Street Investigations editor Matthew Goldstein teamed up with funds correspondent Svea Herbst-Bayliss, who was in New York this week for the Value Investing Conference.

Here’s what Matt has to say about Ackman and one of his rivals.

“Hedge fund managers William Ackman (left) and David Einhorn (right) are fairly good friends and sometimes they find themselves on the same side of a debate over a stock.

Oct 13, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Catch-22 in the housing market

Washington is abuzz with the arguments about foreclosures and whether banks have been steamrollering them through, but many Americans at the other end of the spectrum are having their own problems with mortgage lenders.

One of the couples featured in our special report on how hard it is to get a mortgage were originally turned down because the top right-hand corner of a paystub appeared torn in a photocopy. This despite the fact that the applicants’ debt was just 14 percent of their income and they were borrowing just 25 percent of the home’s value.