Reuters Investigates

Insight and investigations from our expert reporters

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:

By Mark Hosenball

Republican Delaware senate candidate Christine O’Donnell may be the darling of both national and local Tea Party groups. But she’s not particularly beloved at one of Delaware’s most august and esteemed conservative organizations.

Among the more venerable institutions of modern American conservatism is the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, an organization based in a mansion in suburban Wilmington. The Institute, dedicated to the promotion of conservative principles on American college campuses, has an impeccable pedigree: its first president was the godfather of American conservative thought, William F. Buckley Jr.

from MacroScope:

Dallas Fed president takes dig at consultants

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Federal Reserve

The president of the Dallas Fed took a dig at consultants at a speech to business economists in New York on Tuesday.

"Just as bookies in Vegas adjust their lines for the playoffs, the oddsmakers on the Street are constantly reassessing their positions regarding monetary policy,"  Richard Fisher said.

Mongolia’s El Dorado stirs shareholder battle

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friedlandIn Mongolia’s South Gobi desert lies Oyu Tolgoi, touted as having the world’s largest untapped copper and gold deposits. Little wonder then that this “El Dorado” has become a boardroom battleground between the relatively unknown Ivanhoe Mines and its biggest shareholder, the giant Australian mining company, Rio Tinto.  

Our attempts to get near this mine or elicit any comment from Ivanhoe were about as fruitless as the Spanish conquistadors attempts to find the legendary “El Dorado”, or “Lost City of Gold” in the 16th century. Twice Ivanhoe stopped our reporters from visiting the mine with delegations from the investment community, saying reporters were not  allowed to mingle with bankers on visits to the mine. We don’t know why that would be. We mingle with them pretty often in other contexts and usually find each other’s company amusing and mutually informative.

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.”

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.

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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

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

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

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.