Reuters Investigates

Insight and investigations from our expert reporters

Weird weather and the Amazon

Photo
-

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.

It’s not just Brazil that is feeling battered by extreme weather. As this graphic shows, extreme events have become far more commonplace in recent years. 

GLB_WEATHER1110

To see the special report in multimedia PDF format, click here.

Financial cyber-bullying?

Photo
-

“They love a conspiracy theory on the boards,” David Jones, chief market strategist at spread betting firm IG Index told UK correspondents Rosalba O’Brien and Matt Scuffham when they were reporting for “The stock, the web, the CEO and his lawyers” . It’s a look at some of the shenanigans around highly speculative resource stocks when they are discussed on message boards like  ADVFN and iii. Late-night gossip and personal insults are par for the course: some suspect organised short-sellers may be behind the talk. Given the high volumes of online trading in the UK, we wonder how long it will be before regulator FSA is forced to take a closer look. Day-trader John Douce is sceptical about the boards' impact on stock prices

Day-trader John Douce is sceptical about the boards' impact on stock prices

Escape from Wall Street

Photo
-

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.

SAC Capital’s Steve Cohen yells fore!

Photo
-

HEDGEFUNDS/GOLFMatthew 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.

A one-woman Enron

Photo
-

roqumoreOur 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.

Israel and hydrocarbons

Photo
-

It’s taking a while to filter through to those of us who don’t follow these things that Israel might become an energy exporter.  Ari Rabinovich in Tel Aviv explores some of the potential consequences. ISRAEL-GAS/ 

“I see it becoming a source of considerable tension until the location and the scale of the reservoirs are better understood,” says Catherine Hunter, a Levantine energy analyst at IHS in London.

Oil under ice

Photo
- Still there

Still there

BP’s Macondo Gulf spill would be nothing compared to the effect of a drilling accident in the Arctic, Jessica Bachman reports from “the foulest place in all of Russia.”  Scientists and Russian officials are just starting to wake up to the fact that “if something happens on the Arctic Barents Sea in November it would be, ‘OK, we’ll come back for you in March,’” Jessica says.

But quite what Russia would do about that is not at all clear. The Russian government gets more than 50 percent of its revenues from oil and gas and Prime Minister Putin’s stated aim is to keep producing more than 10 billion barrels a day through 2020. Environmentalists aren’t the only ones who are worried.

Surviving the patent cliff

Photo
-

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.

Food for thought before Veterans Day

Photo
-

VETERANS/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.

Prize for Kate Kelland’s “Bribe me healthy”

Photo
-

HEALTH-INCENTIVES/Kate Kelland, EMEA Health and Science Correspondent, has won the British Guild of Health Writers Award for Best Online Feature 2010 for her Special Report on using financial incentives to nudge people towards kicking their unhealthy habits: Special Report: In austere times can bribery be healthy?

The judges of the award, which was presented at an event in London on November 4th, praised Kate for what they said was a “fascinating” piece which was well written, thoroughly and accurately reported, informative and insightful. We couldn’t agree more.