Oct 7, 2017

This week's investigative stories worth reading

As President Trump continued his war against fake news this week, reporters around the country produced groundbreaking investigative reporting from the halls of nursing homes to the halls of power. Three longform reads that you should spend some time with this weekend:

  • The New Yorker's Rachel Aviv exposed the world of elder abuse via guardianships in Clark County, Nevada, detailing how seniors can lose control of their homes, assets, and livelihoods — all by a very legal process. It's commonly practiced in areas known for their extensive retirement communities, allowing lightly-trained legal guardians to sell off seniors' estates for extensive profit while providing them with a minimum of care.
  • BuzzFeed News' Joseph Bernstein obtained emails and documents from Breitbart News and examined how the right-wing news site's most popular personality interacted and worked to bring alt-right ideas into the public sphere. Come for Steve Bannon texting Milo Yiannopoulos "Dude!!! LMAO!" but stay for the revelation of Yiannopoulos' passwords, which are riddled with anti-Semitic and Nazi references.
  • The Atlantic's Caitlin Flanagan produced a harrowing account of the hazing death of Tim Piazza, a fraternity pledge at Penn State University, all while systemically exposing the procedures in place to shield the larger fraternity industry from similar incidents. While the minute-by-minute account of Piazza's abuse compiled via a grand jury presentment is terrifying enough, it's Flanagan's interview with his parents that might linger the longest.

Go deeper

Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.

The Fed may be setting the table for 2020 rate cuts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Fed looks to be laying the groundwork to lower U.S. interest rates this year, just as they did in April 2019 before cutting rates in July, September and October.

Why it matters: A Fed rate cut makes taking on debt more attractive for U.S. consumers and businesses, helping to juice the economy, but also puts the central bank in a weaker position to fight off a potential recession.

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in a $13 billion deal

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is planning to buy E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion all-stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to acquire the company known for helping everyday Americans manage their money.

Why it matters: The deal, which would be the largest by a major American bank since the financial crisis, signals Morgan Stanley‘s desire to bulk up in wealth management.