The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "Washington Mutual" ...
Kerry Killinger, former CEO of Washington Mutual, refused to take blame for the bank's collapse. Instead, he cited the faltering housing market and "credit crisis." An investigation by The Seattle Times reveals Killinger and his employees used "reckless" and "predatory practices," like encouraging high-risk loans, to increase the bank's profits. The greed-fueled decisions eventually led to the bank's collapse.
It's October 2008: major banks are failing, Congress is bailing them out with taxpayer dollars. The public deserves to know how we got into the mess. ABC News Nightline's "Inside the Collapse" was first to expose a top-down, company-wide reckless lending strategy that led to the biggest bank failure in U.S. history: Washington Mutual Bank. Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas got inside Washington Mutual's culture and uncovered what really went wrong using original reporting, an exclusive whistleblower interview, a video of a jubilant company party, exclusive internal company documents, former employee interviews and victim interviews. His piece, as well as a follow-up on World news with Charles Gibson and articles on ABCNews.com, caught the attention of law enforcement. Two days after the piece aired, federal prosecutors announced that because of "intense public interest" they were investigating the bank's activities with assistance from the FBI, FDIC, SEC and IRS. The story was widely reported in the national media in the following weeks.
This is a series of three stories by senior writer David Evans that ran in the February, July and November issues of Bloomberg Markets magazine. In "The Risk Nightmare," (July 2008), Evans pierced the opacity and complexity of credit default swaps, unregulated securities that were supposed to act as a form of insurance and protect investors against risk. He found that CDS had built up so many interconnections that one player could jeopardize the entire financial system. In "Banks on the Edge" (November 2008), Evans reported that scores of regional banks across the U.S. would fail within a year because they hadn't yet realized their losses on defaulting mortgages. In "Peddling Tainted Debt to Florida," (February 2008), he reported that Lehman Brothers was both advising and selling toxic debt to Florida's "money market pool." This disclosure prompted a run on the pool, and it was then shut down as the state investigated its holding and worked to restore its creditworthiness.
Federal statistics for Fairfield, California show banks have abandoned older, low-income housing neighborhoods in an apparent violation of the Community Reinvestment Act, and moved to where new upscale housing developments were going up. The banks were catering to the middle and upper classes, and ignoring low-income neighborhoods. Controversial check cashing stores that charge alarmingly high interest rates have swept into these low income neighborhoods where the banks disappeared.