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Bank Tracker: 2013 profits hit new level

March 7, 2014

The nation’s banks have recovered strongly from the financial crisis, and the results for 2013 provide even more evidence: Profits for the year hit $154.7 billion, according to reports filed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That's the highest level ever. And only 24 banks failed last year, the fewest since 2007.

Revolving doors

Dec. 11, 2013

In the “reverse revolving door,” key players outside of government, often in heavily regulated industries, leave their high-paying corporate lobbying jobs for the public sector, where they take staff jobs on Senate and House committees. But can someone shift his or her outlook from protecting business interests to protecting the nation’s interest? 

Bank Tracker

Dec. 10, 2013

Solid loan growth and continued low interest rates have helped the nation’s 6,600 credit unions rebuild from the 2008-09 financial crisis, according to new data from the National Credit Union Administration.

But there might be storm clouds on the horizon. NCUA Chair Debbie Matz warned recently that the prospect of higher interest rates could cut into credit union profits. 


Economic impact ripples

Dec. 4, 2013

Lawyers often see the criminal and civil courts as two separate entities, but for people caught up in the legal system, the problems often bleed from one arena into the other. Having a bad lawyer, or an overwhelmed one, can result in a felony conviction rather than a misdemeanor, or a plea deal rather than a trial. Those missed opportunities can have economic and social ripple effects that last beyond any prison sentence.


Bank Tracker: Five-Year Review

Oct. 29, 2013

By most accounts TARP achieved its primary purpose: To help bring about stability in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But the program has been called is "one of the most hated, misunderstood and effective policies in modern economic history."

Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria

Oct. 21, 2013

"Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria," a FRONTLINE program co-produced with the Investigative Reporting Workshop, looks at whether the age of antibiotics is coming to an end. From a young girl thrust onto life support in Arizona to an uncontrollable outbreak at one of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals, FRONTLINE investigates the alarming rise of a deadly type of bacteria that our modern antibiotics can’t stop. You can watch the full video, learn more about the global spread of superbugs and read about the making of the film. 

What Went Wrong: The Betrayal of the American Dream

Oct. 17, 2013

Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele's 2012 book, "The Betrayal of the American Dream," chronicles how four decades of public policy shaped America's ongoing economic crisis. The New York Times bestseller, researched in part by Workshop staffers, will be released in paperback Oct. 22. The paperback edition includes the authors' new afterword, which takes a critical look at economic recovery in the United States and its impact on the middle class.

BankTracker: Smaller banks rebound more slowly

Sept. 13, 2013

The latest data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. shows that the nation’s banks continue to recover from the financial crisis, reporting stronger earnings and increasing loan volume.

But an analysis by the Investigative Reporting Workshop shows that for the vast majority of banks — those with less than $1 billion in assets — profits are harder to come by as they continue to try to work their way through a disproportionate amount of troubled loans and foreclosed property.

Obama's Drones

Aug. 2, 2013

Within the world of money and politics, Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon stands out. Not only is he the top recipient of contributions from manufacturers of unmanned aerial vehicles, but he is also Capitol Hill’s most vocal supporter of the industry and has close ties with lobbyists and contractors. And if McKeon has his way, drones will soon populate the skies over this country.

Courts redefining crime and punishment

July 30, 2013

There is growing recognition that the current system of impossible caseloads, over-criminalized rule books and overflowing prisons is incredibly expensive, unsustainable — and avoidable. Legislatures and advocates are exploring how to shift some acts from criminal offenses to ticket-able ones. Organizers are teaming up with public defenders, bringing people power where money is short. And lawyers are trying to address the issues that led people into the justice system in the first place.

Incubating new economic models for journalism.

Latest from iLab

'Future of Truth'

'Future of Truth'

Charles Lewis, founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop, wrote “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity,” now in bookstores and available online. The Workshop has published a special series related to the book, and NBC's Chuck Todd recently interviewed Lewis about the public's disenchantment with Congress, the courts and the media.

Navigating FOIA in DC

Access to government documents and data is essential to local investigative “street” reporting and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the most important tool to get them, say journalists in the D.C. community. 

 

Blogs

Most Recent Posts

Festival showcases power of documentary reporting

The selection of films at the 2014 AFI Docs Festival along with new documentary techniques allow for a greater exchange about little-known subjects between filmmakers and audiences. 

New book launches

Executive Editor Charles Lewis celebrated the release of his new book, "935 Lies," at the National Press Club last week, an event hosted by the Center for Public Integrity, which Lewis founded 25 years ago. It was the first of several programs and interviews related to "935 Lies."


Mentoring the next generation

Our partnership with The Washington Post continues this summer under an ever-expanding model, as we pair our Workshop interns with several different investigative teams at the Post.

Banktracker Updates

After more than five years, the Investigative Reporting Workshop has decided to make some changes in its Banktracker feature.

CNN anchor reflects on censorship, challenges

Retired CNN anchor Bernard Shaw recalled his reporting on the Tiananmen Square massacre in an address to about 120 guests at the Newseum on Saturday in Washington, focusing on challenges today to journalism and exhorting his audience to become engaged and informed citizens.

Partners

Workshop Partners

We publish online and in print, often teaming up with other news organizations. We're working now on a new program with FRONTLINE producers, to air later in the year, and on the "Years of Living Dangerously," a series on climate change that has begun airing on Showtime. A story last year on the use of solitary confinement in immigration detention centers was co-published with The New York Times. Our updates to our long-running BankTracker project, in which you can view the financial health of every bank and credit union in the country, have been published with msnbc.com, now nbcnews.com, and we co-published stories in our What Went Wrong series on the economy with The Philadelphia Inquirer and New America Media. Our graduate students are working as researchers with Washington Post reporters, and our new senior editor is a member of the Post's investigative team. Learn more on our partners page.

Projects

Investigating Power update

Investigating Power update

Profiles of notable journalists and their stories of key moments in U.S. history in the last 50 years can be found on the Investigating Power site. See Workshop Executive Editor Charles Lewis' latest video interviews as well as historic footage and timelines. You can also read more about the project and why we documented these groundbreaking examples of original, investigative journalism that helped shape or change public perceptions on key issues of our time, from civil rights to Iraq, here.