Reuters Investigates

Insight and investigations from our expert reporters

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Treasury officials said they were simply modernizing outdated procedures two years ago when they revamped the rules for participating in government bond auctions.

The real reason for the change, a Reuters investigation has found, was more serious: The Treasury concluded that China was buying much more in U.S. debt than was being disclosed, potentially in violation of auction rules, and it wanted to bring those purchases into the open – all without ruffling feathers in Beijing.

Stephen Culp, Reuters graphics editor, came up with a handy visual explanation for the practice that allowed China to mask billions of dollars worth of U.S. debt purchases at auctions. China placed its bids informally through primary dealers, who then placed their bids at Treasury auctions without naming China as a customer. The Treasury outlawed the practice in June, 2009, but kept the reason for the rule-change under wraps.

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.

Senators and prosecutors

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Just as media reports came out that the Justice Department was preparing to charge former Democratic Senator John Edwards over allegations he illegally spent campaign contributions to hide his affair with Rielle Hunter, our special report on John Ensign by Murray Waas reveals that the Republican senator is also facing renewed scrutiny by federal prosecutors.

The report raises serious questions as to why the Justice Department closed its file on Ensign last December without first obtaining crucial emails later seen by the Senate. Attorneys close to the case say they could be presented as evidence of campaign finance law violations and obstruction of justice.

The Britain Obama won’t see

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Security tops the agenda as Barack Obama visits Britain, with a tighter relationship on the cards between the United States and the UK:

“Ours is not just a special relationship, it is an essential relationship – for us and for the world,” Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Will the real DSK please stand up

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As Dominique Strauss-Kahn returned to court today for a bail hearing in the sexual assault case that has captivated world media, the big question remains – who is the real DSK?

Brian Love in Paris and Reuters correspondents from around the world try to get to the bottom of this in the special report “The two faces of DSK.”

Ten years of Jeff Immelt at GE: A look back

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Here’s what Scott Malone has to say about today’s special report: “GE thrives, Wall Street yawns, Immelt charges on.”

The ten years that Jeff Immelt has led General Electric Co go down as some of the most tumultuous the world has seen in half a century.