Reuters Investigates

Insight and investigations from our expert reporters

Flash crash fallout

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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.”

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

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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.

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“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.

Catch-22 in the housing market

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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. 

A machine that makes it hard to die

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USA/Our latest special report by Toni Clarke and Debra Sherman examines how a new heart pump is revolutionizing heart failure treatment.

Dr Lynne Warner Stevenson, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, raises a fascinating ethical question about the device, made by Thoratec. “This is one of the ways our technology has moved ahead of our humanity,” she said. “We haven’t had enough experience yet about how to help people die naturally who have a ventricular assist device. And I can tell you, it is difficult to die with one of these things in place. The body does not give up easily when the blood flow is maintained.”

This is going to hurt

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In Britain, the coalition government is readying its “comprehensiveAUSTERITY-BRITAIN spending review” later this month. Rather than get caught up in chasing which government departments or bodies will be cut, two of our reporters focused on a single council – in this case, the City of Birmingham, which happens to be the biggest local authority in Europe – and explored what it’s doing to prepare for the change ahead.

For a lot of people, the most visible sign of cuts in Britain will be at a local level, as services are pulled back and jobs are lost. In the leadup to the spending review details,  lobbyists in London have been doing great business. Check out their tactics for survival – although if you’re worried about your government contract but haven’t done anything about it, you’re probably already too late.

Covering the story of Mexico’s narco orphans

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MEXICO/Our latest special report is not a feel-good story. Catherine Bremer visited an orphanage in Ciudad Juarez, the epicenter of Mexico’s drug war, to tell the largely overlooked story of the tens of thousands of children whose lives are blighted by drug violence.

Northern Mexico is a tough place to work. This is what our Monterrey correspondent Robin Emmott has to say about covering the drug war:

Reuters wins major investigative prize

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CANCER/UPDATED: Congratulations to Murray Waas whose special report on insurers dropping patients with breast cancer has won the Barlett & Steele Award for investigative business reporting.

A four-month investigation, supported by additional reporting from Lewis Krauskopf,  revealed that a giant health insurer had targeted policyholders recently diagnosed with breast cancer for aggressive investigations and canceled some policies. An exhaustive study of records, hearings and federal data, as well as dozens of interviews with experts, officials and patients led to the story, which was edited by Jim Impoco and Doina Chiacu.

Club Fed: the ties that bind at the Fed

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USA-FED/BERNANKE We’re getting a lot of good feedback on our special report on cozy ties between Wall Street and the Fed. As one Wall Street economist put it: “I’ve never seen the ‘Fed Alumni Association’ used more extensively for back-channel communications with the Street than has been the case since June.”

The story pulls back the veil on the privileged access that Federal Reserve officials give to big investors, former Fed officials, money market advisers and hedge funds.

Singapore Swing: Nanny state loosens up to attract wealth

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MOTOR-RACING/PRIX

Some assignments are tough in this business. Getting embedded in a U.S. tank in an Iraqi desert. Gulping tear gas during a  riot. Spending hours at an APEC conference desperately seeking news in the snooze-fest.

This one was fairly enjoyable to tell you the truth. Reuters Singapore Bureau Chief Raju Gopalkrishnan set out to tell the tale of how Singapore, the Southeast Asian city better known for things like banning chewing gum and canning juveniles, has been undergoing something of a transformation of late. From “nanny state” to Singapore swing.