Reuters Investigates

Insight and investigations from our expert reporters

Wyoming Secretary of State talks back

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On Tuesday, a Reuters Special Report called “A Little House of Secrets on the Great Plains ” explored the questionable – and sometimes illegal practices – of several businesses incorporated at a single-family home in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The 1,700-sq. ft, brick house is the address of a business incorporation specialist called Wyoming Corporate Services, which has set up more than 2,000 companies there, according to incorporation records.

The article launched a Reuters series which will explore the extent and impact of corporate secrecy in the U.S., which stands in stark contrast to its call for greater transparency in global transactions to lift the veil on shadowy money flows.

In an interview published Wednesday by the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, the local newspaper in Cheyenne, Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield defended the state’s business incorporation laws, while acknowledging they can still be improved.

Maxfield said legislation enacted in 2009 had allowed the state to “dissolve 7,000 phony or fraudulent shell” companies, according to the story, and banned companies from operating in the state without a physical presence. Reuters cited the change in Wyoming law in its Special Report. Maxfield added that “many of the troublesome companies registered to the 2710 Thomes Ave. address were dissolved in recent years,” according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

Intrigue in China’s U.S. Treasury buying

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A Reuters exclusive today describes a method China used recently to hide some of its U.S. Treasury purchases – “US caught China buying more Treasuries than disclosed.”

Treasury officials said they were simply modernizing outdated procedures two years ago when they revamped the rules for participating in government bond auctions.

Secrecy Inc in the USA

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Reuters is launching today a series of articles exploring the extent and impact of corporate secrecy in the U.S.

Part one, a special report by Brian Grow and Kelly Carr, focuses on a little house in Cheyenne, Wyoming that is home to more than 2,000 companies.

Do you want the NSA to be the cyber-police?

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Today’s special report looks at what the U.S. government is and is not doing to fight cyber attacks. Read it in multimedia PDF format here.

It seems every day brings news of another data breach, from defense firms to banks and even the U.S. Senate.

No room at the Inn … but maybe a job in the Outback

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By Rebekah Kebede

You wouldn’t think you’d have to make hotel reservations months ahead of time in Karratha, a small, dusty town on the edge of the Outback  a 16-hour drive from  Perth, the nearest city. But with Australia’s commodities boom, Karratha is bursting at the seams and nowhere is it more apparent than when trying to find a place to stay.

(Above photo: A kangaroo stands atop iron ore rocks outside the remote outback town of Karattha in Western Australia. Reuters/Daniel Munoz)

Nuclear power in scary places

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Today’s special report “After Japan, what’s the next nuclear weak link?” takes a look at developing countries’ plans for nuclear power. Read the story in PDF format here.

Andrew Neff of IHS Global Insight sums up the issue in this section:

If in a modern, stable democracy, there could be apparently lax regulatory oversight, failure of infrastructure, and a slow response to a crisis from authorities, then it begs the question of how others would handle a similar situation. 

Monterrey’s drug war madness cripples model city

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Robin Emmott has been covering the drug wars in Mexico for the past four-and-a-half years, based in the north industrial city of Monterrey. Robin’s special report “If Monterrey falls, Mexico falls” examines the sharp rise in violence in recent years and how the country’s richest city is dealing with it. (Read the story in multimedia PDF format here.)

Here’s what Robin had to say about working on the story:

“Don’t worry about the violence,” the elderly priest said to the congregation in a middle class suburb of Monterrey last month. “Get out there and live your lives. When it’s your time to die, God will decide,” he said in his Sunday sermon as the distinctly bemused churchgoers looked up at him from the pews.