Reuters Investigates

Insight and investigations from our expert reporters

The shell games continue

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Laurence Fletcher and a team of reporters from Canberra to the small town of Apache Junction in Arizona have a special report today that is the latest in our series “Shell Games,” exploring the extent and impact of corporate secrecy in the United States and beyond.

The bonds that turned to dust” tracks the fate of $500 million of highly illiquid paper purportedly issued by a company in a trailer-park suburb of Phoenix, on behalf of a small Australian commodities firm — and backed by the proceeds from $10 billion of diesel from the tiny autonomous Russian republic of Bashkortostan.

The bonds proved to be impossible to sell, and a Cayman Island-based fund, DD Growth Premium, that bought them went into liquidation in the spring of 2009. The fund’s implosion left behind a band of irate investors and an enduring riddle as to what exactly happened.

Read the story in multimedia PDF format here: http://link.reuters.com/sut23s

We kicked off the series at the end of June with “A little house of secrets on the Great Plains.” The story focused on a house in Cheyenne, Wyoming, that is home to more than 2,000 companies. The state is already cracking down, as we reported last week.

Hedge fund investors flex their muscles

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By Emily Chasan

Bernie Madoff, didn’t technically run a hedge fund, but his effects on the industry are still being felt today. 

Hedge fund investors learned the hard way that they wanted to invest in hedge funds with a more institutional feel, and pushed successfully over the past few years for reforms to hedge fund redemption policies, transparency, use of outside fund administrators and even lower fee structures.

Dan Loeb learns email is forever

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RTR2D72S.jpgBy Matthew Goldstein

The trouble with email is that even once you hit the delete button a message often is never really gone.

Long forgotten emails often lie buried in the deep recesses of a computer’s hard drive. That is until some  enterprising lawyer with a subpoena comes around and gets a techie to retrieve it. And all too often, those old emails can come back to haunt a person — especially in litigation.

Steve Cohen and the law of big numbers

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By Matthew Goldstein

All too often the bigger an investment fund gets, the more difficult it is to continue to generate blowout returns.

Maybe the best example of a fund getting so popular and ultimately unwieldy is Fidelity’s Magellan fund.  One has to wonder if on a smaller scale, the same phenomena is happening to Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors.

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.