Reuters blog archive

from Alison Frankel:

IndyMac MBS class action to settle for $340 mln – but SCOTUS case alive

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down an unusual order Tuesday, directing the lawyers in a case called Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi v. IndyMac to file letter briefs explaining whether a newly proposed settlement of the underlying mortgage-backed-securities class action affects the question presented to the Supreme Court. That sure caught my attention.

The IndyMac case, scheduled to be argued on Oct. 6, is the most consequential case of the term for securities lawyers. It's not potentially catastrophic, like last term's Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund, but it does impact big institutional investors that sometimes prefer to opt out of securities class actions and bring their own suits. Will the IndyMac settlement strip those investors of their chance to challenge an opinion by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that sets an inviolable three-year limit on their individual claims?

I don't think so. It's true that on Monday, Berman DeValerio, lead counsel in the underlying IndyMac class action in federal court in Manhattan, notified U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan that plaintiffs have reached a $340 million settlement agreement with the underwriter defendants in the case. But because of the complicated procedural history of the class action, the settlement doesn't resolve all claims by the Mississippi pension fund that appealed the 2nd Circuit's ruling to the Supreme Court. In fact, according to the settlement brief, "none of the securities at issue on the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court were underwritten by the settling defendants."

The settlement also leaves alive possible causes of action against Goldman Sachs, which was dismissed as a defendant in the class action and didn't participate in the proposed settlement. We'll have to see what both sides tell the Supreme Court in the letter briefs due Thursday, but I'll be very surprised if the class action settlement spells the end of the Supreme Court case.

from Mark Jones:

‘The Boss’ is now a senior citizen. His music isn’t.

‘The Boss’ is now a senior citizen. His music isn’t.

from Breakingviews:

Tax clampdown could deter half-baked pharma M&A

By Neil Unmack and Robert Cyran

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

The U.S. clampdown on tax-driven cross-border M&A should deter half-baked pharma deals. Some U.S.-led transactions, like AbbVie’s recent agreement to buy UK-based Shire, may survive on strategic logic. But pure tax-avoiding combinations look tricky.

from Tony Jimenez:

Golf-Americans play too much before a Ryder Cup – Captain Watson

GLENEAGLES, Scotland, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Captain Tom Watson believes the United States team are often drained by having to play too much competitive golf in the lead-up to a Ryder Cup match.

Europe have a proud recent history, with seven wins from the last nine editions, and Watson says the money-spinning U.S. FedExCup playoff series that is held before the biennial team event serves as an added complication to the American squad.

from Data Dive:

Why quitters are good for the economy

This week Anchorage television reporter Charlo Greene quit her job—on-air, complete with a curse—in order to work full-time in support of Alaska’s ballot initiative to legalize marijuana.

Does that tell us anything about today’s job market? It sure does. Voluntarily leaving one’s job tends to be a sign of optimism about the employment market, and Greene’s departure may be emblematic of our confidence that we are finally creeping out of the Great Recession.

from Full Focus:

In the oil sands

Reuters photographer Todd Korol examines the oil sands industry in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

from Reuters FYI:

Protests, a lawsuit and maybe a cocktail when you’re done

Police scuffle with protesters during the 'Flood Wall Street' demonstration in Lower Manhattan, New York on September 22, 2014. Hundreds of protesters marched through New York City's financial district on Monday and blocked streets near the stock exchange to denounce Wall Street's role in raising money for businesses that contribute to climate change.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Police scuffle with protesters during the 'Flood Wall Street' demonstration in Lower Manhattan, New York on September 22, 2014. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

The 300,000 protesters were a clue

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says he notices a 'sense of anxiety' on climate change.

from Mark Jones:

Why quitters are good for the economy

Why quitters are good for the economy

from Breakingviews:

Is “stranded costs” a euphemism for fat?

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

In the electric utility industry, the term “stranded costs” refers to past investments used to build infrastructure that, as a result of deregulation, may become redundant and of no value. The jargon has surfaced lately in a different, but no less electrifying, context: uppity investor Nelson Peltz’s siege of one of America’s most venerable corporations, DuPont.

from Mark Jones:

Is “stranded costs” a euphemism for fat?

Is “stranded costs” a euphemism for fat?