Reynolds's Feed
Nov 11, 2014
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Steve Cohen’s loot could land in undeserving hands

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By Reynolds Holding

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

SAC Capital’s ill-gotten gains could be headed for undeserving pockets. A $600 million settlement between Steve Cohen’s hedge fund – now called Point72 Asset Management – and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will go to investors on the other side of the illegal transactions. Better them than Uncle Sam. But the real victims were drug firms Elan and Wyeth, whose data SAC’s trader misappropriated.

Oct 30, 2014
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REIT scandal could be good test for Sarbanes-Oxley

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By Reynolds Holding

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

A scandal at one of America’s biggest real-estate investment trusts could be the perfect test for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. American Realty Capital Properties’ stock tanked nearly 20 percent on Wednesday after the company said mistakes in its financial statements were intentionally left uncorrected. That sounds tailor-made for a case under the often-ignored law inspired by Enron, WorldCom and other accounting debacles.

Oct 13, 2014
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Bankers get painful and needed conflicts reminder

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Bankers just got handed a painful, and necessary, reminder about conflicts of interest. A $76 million penalty against RBC Capital Markets for working both sides of a deal is the latest blow to skewed loyalties. Even with recent knocks against Goldman Sachs and Barclays, however, it isn’t clear the message is reaching Wall Street.

Oct 9, 2014
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Twitter free-speech chirps carry overtone of risk

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Twitter’s chirping about corporate free speech carries an overtone of risk. After its UK super-injunction tiff, the microblogging service is fighting for the right to disclose secret U.S. demands for data. The two cases show firms have power to resist being muzzled – or forced to speak. That helps check judicial and government overreach, but it could also undermine useful regulation.

Sep 25, 2014
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Wall Street needs sheriff more than toll collector

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Wall Street needs a sheriff more than a glorified toll collector. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is stepping down after squeezing multibillion-dollar penalties from the likes of JPMorgan and Bank of America. He had less success securing convictions, though, making law enforcement just an expensive cost of doing business. Next financial crisis, Uncle Sam should send in a tougher cop.

Sep 24, 2014
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Uncle Sam gets wires crossed on data privacy

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Uncle Sam has gotten his wires crossed on internet data privacy. A hacker went to prison for exposing private customer information that AT&T failed to protect from online access. Now U.S. prosecutors are defending their right to do essentially the same thing in the Silk Road drug-website case. Anti-hacking laws are tough to take seriously when even enforcers can’t decide what’s allowed.

Aug 29, 2014
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TV broadcasters missing big picture in Aereo fight

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Television broadcasters are missing the big picture in their courtroom spat with Aereo. CBS, Disney-owned ABC and others don’t want the streaming startup backed by media mogul Barry Diller reborn as a cable company. But conceding now could put online services and the likes of Time Warner Cable on equal legal footing, creating more competition – and higher fees – for content.

Aereo seemed doomed only two months ago. The U.S. Supreme Court decided it violated copyright law by leasing to each subscriber a dime-sized antenna that received broadcasting signals for free and streamed them over the internet. Like a cable operator, the court ruled, it had to pay for programming.

Jul 14, 2014
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Citi settlement imposes awfully pricey babysitter

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Citigroup’s settlement over dodgy mortgages imposes an awfully pricey babysitter. A former prosecutor will watch the bank as part of its $7 billion deal with Uncle Sam. That may ensure compliance. But as Apple and others can attest, independent monitors are too often meddlers fond of excessive oversight and multimillion-dollar fees.

Jul 1, 2014
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U.S. cooks up penalties with anti-foreign flavor

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Uncle Sam is cooking up penalties with an anti-foreign flavor. New research suggests that overseas firms like BNP Paribas do in fact pay bigger fines and plead guilty more often than U.S. companies. One reason may be that prosecutors target only the most serious cases abroad. But the differences feed suspicions that America is playing favorites.

Jun 25, 2014
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Aereo is dead, long live TV disruption

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Aereo is dead, long live television disruption. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the streaming startup backed by entertainment mogul Barry Diller violates copyright law. Legal loopholes abound, however, and investors and viewers will still reward those who find ways to exploit them. The likes of broadcasters CBS and Disney-owned ABC can’t afford to waste time celebrating.

    • About Reynolds

      "Reynolds Holding is a Breakingviews columnist who writes from New York about the law in conjunction with Reuters Legal. Before joining Breakingviews, he was a national editorial producer for the Law & Justice Unit at ABC News, a senior writer for Time magazine and the executive editor of Legal Affairs, the first general interest magazine about the law. He spent more than a decade as an investigative reporter and columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle, where he was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for explanatory writing. Before becoming a journalist, he practiced corporate law at the New York firm of ..."
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