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Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation

Freedom Holding Corp.: After ‘Borat,’ the Silliest Kazakh Import of the Century

If one word could describe the U.S. stock market of 2020, it would be “improbable.” The S&P 500, for example, has risen about 14.14 percent this year despite a pandemic that is deadly to both people and corporate profits. Yet even after witnessing this year’s string of unprecedented developments, investors might be shocked to learn what lies behind the recent muscular share price growth of Freedom Holding Corporation. This Las Vegas–incorporated bank and securities brokerage has its principal office in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and a major presence in other cities of the former Soviet Union.
STOCKS

Penumbra Inc.’s Catheter Fail: Broken Tips and Lost Lives

Few things vex a publicly traded company’s managers more than the prospect of admitting a mistake. To acknowledge an error risks a stock selloff, bad publicity and possible litigation, as well as reduced executive pay and maybe even a few resignations. The alternative — covering up the blunder — could turn what is a professional embarrassment into a potential regulatory headache or even a criminal investigation.
BUSINESS

The U5 Loophole

Achieving success on Wall Street requires a wide mixture of skills: mastering technical subjects, such as math, economics and finance; earning and keeping the respect of others (and vice versa); and displaying good judgment. Yet apart from passing the Series 7 exam, an elementary test of securities industry rules and concepts, few other credentials are needed before a person can trade government bonds or advise on a big merger.
ECONOMY

A Short Foray Into Social Service

After the Lincolnshire County Council hired Fraser Perring to work as a social worker, in January 2011 he began an assignment on the East Lindsey family support and assessment team. His nearly 19-month tenure with the team (which ended badly for both Perring and the council) involved elements of denial...
U.K.

Editor’s Note About Fraser Perring

It is unusual for an investigative reporter to reveal his sources, but to set the record straight I am acknowledging that Fraser Perring was a source in some of my previous Wirecard AG reporting. Earlier this year, Perring provided me with a set of documents I used in an article and he connected me to several other individuals that aided additional Wirecard reporting. Perring was not a key source whose information my reporting hinged on. By the time I was introduced to him in late 2017, I had been investigating Wirecard for months and I did not use any of the information he sought to provide in my first article on the company in January 2018. But he did talk with me frequently and did introduce me to someone whose research proved quite valuable.
JOURNALISM