The Subprime Economy is Back—But It Never Really Left

Reading Time: 5 minutes Who can forget the subprime economy that launched the Great Recession? Don’t worry if you have—it’s back again, with a different face. Wall Street has found rich pickings in the financial ruins from the last crash. Here’s how the new subprime economy is growing from the struggle to make ends meet and the mountain of debt affecting more than one in three Americans

Does the Ukrainian Crisis Revolve Around This Pipeline?

Reading Time: 5 minutes The Ukraine crisis has given the U.S. another front to fight its war for global energy dominance with Russia. Here’s the story of the pipeline at the heart of the Moscow-Washington battle to sell oil and gas to one of the world’s biggest consumers: Europe.

After $40 Billion, America’s Biggest Nuclear Dump Is Still Leaking

Reading Time: 5 minutes Begun in 1989, America’s biggest radioactive contamination waste site—run by the Department of Energy—has cost taxpayers roughly $40 billion so far and may take another 40 years and an additional $100 billion before the cleanup is done, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And critics argue workers are getting sick while waste is still leaking.

Jailbreak: The U.S. Paid $11 Million for an Afghan Prison with Cracked Walls

Reading Time: 5 minutes The U.S. watchdog in charge of overseeing the billions of dollars the U.S. is spending to rebuild Afghanistan finds an $11 million prison with broken walls, no fence and a trail of graft. WhoWhatWhy takes a look at what that tells us about our $103 billion investment in Afghanistan.

A Cautionary Tale: Tar Sands Oil and Health. Part 2

Reading Time: 11 minutes Plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline—designed to pump 35 million gallons of tar sands oil a day through the heart of America—are on hold, stalled by legal challenges about its route to Gulf Coast refineries from Canada. Yet there are very few answers to questions about the health risks involved in moving that kind of oil, as pipeline accidents in Michigan and Arkansas are demonstrating. WhoWhatWhy takes a look at those questions in the second part of a series.

Poultry Eaters do the Funky Chicken

Reading Time: 6 minutes If you’re not big on the idea of antibiotics injected into your chicken dinner, you may be even less so after reading our story. It turns out that in the uber-quest to build the perfect cluckers, consumers may have been taken for suckers.

Nestlé’s Colombian Problem: Why Did Employees Die?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Who really killed Colombia’s trade union organizer, Luciano Romero? Paramilitary thugs did the deed, but his family blames Nestlé—the company Romero was preparing to testify against when he was murdered nine years ago. Now, a court is to decide whether corporate executives high up the ladder in Switzerland will be investigated.

How Silicon Valley and Wall Street Investors Profit From 300% Interest

Reading Time: 7 minutes As tough new laws squeeze the so-called “payday” lending industry, big investors are stepping in to help push triple-digit interest rates on customers who can least afford it.

An exclusive WhoWhatWhy investigation has uncovered new tactics—and in some cases “front” companies—allowing payday lenders to profit just beyond reach of state and federal laws.