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Sep 26, 2011
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U.S. courts make death arbitrage a tougher game

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

A U.S. court has just made death arbitrage a tougher game. Cashing out life insurance can keep a policyholder afloat if he suddenly needs the dough. But an active secondary market tempts some to buy insurance just to sell the policy on. Delaware judges have wisely made such ghoulish bets on life expectancy easier for insurers to kill.

Aug 22, 2011
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Next wave of patent rulings could ease tech wars

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

Today’s costly technology patent wars in many ways can be pinned on the courts. Google, Apple, Microsoft and others are spending billions of dollars for the rights to ideas and inventions powering devices like smartphones. But what they’re actually buying is legal protection. The next wave of rulings ought to sync up the law with the real world.

Aug 4, 2011
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Reform bill could make “incoherent” SEC irrelevant

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

NEW YORK — At least one U.S. lawmaker seems to want the “incoherent” Securities and Exchange Commission to become irrelevant. The regulator has had its problems. But a Republican bid to reshape it seems designed to hinder, not help. There’s room for improvement, but with its duties growing, the self-funding watchdog needs more staff, more money and a buffer against Congress.

Aug 2, 2011
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Loss of bankruptcy card would weaken cities’ hands

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

Taking away the bankruptcy card would weaken the hand of U.S. cities and counties. In high-stakes negotiations with unions and bondholders, the threat to file for protection from creditors in federal court gives local officials leverage. But states are blocking that option, fearing it spooks credit markets. For teetering local governments, that leaves as alternatives costly defaults or even bailouts.

Jul 20, 2011
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News Corp’s UK static could yet hit U.S. airwaves

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

NEW YORK — News Corp’s UK static could yet hit U.S. airwaves. Phone-hacking and bribery charges already threaten Rupert Murdoch’s stake in pay-TV firm British Sky Broadcasting. But his ownership of 27 Fox Broadcasting stations in America, home to hit shows like “The Simpsons” and “American Idol,” could also be in jeopardy if the accusations prove true.

Jul 1, 2011
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Strauss-Kahn case may also vindicate U.S. justice

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

The latest developments in the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn have not only eased the terms of his detainment but may also vindicate the U.S. justice system. New York cops took heat from far and wide for quickly and publicly detaining the ex-International Monetary Fund boss, helping feed a broad rush to judgment. But it sounds as if prosecutors were the ones to uncover some holes in the case against him. That suggests Strauss-Kahn was treated without fear or favor.

Jul 1, 2011
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U.S. agencies could use better debt collectors

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

Uncle Sam could use better debt collectors. Fraudsters, polluters and other corporate and white-collar miscreants owe government agencies more than $65 billion in fines. Only pennies on the dollar are ever paid. With private firms like Contrarian Capital making millions buying claims from creditors, maybe they and the feds should do business.

Jun 28, 2011
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Default not an option under U.S. Constitution

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

A federal default is no option under the U.S. Constitution. Rating-agency warnings and budget-talk walkouts aside, America’s founding document probably won’t let the government stiff its creditors. That’s no reason to derail a deal on the debt ceiling. But if push comes to shove, the White House may have the greater legal leverage.

Jun 20, 2011
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Wal-Mart’s win puts nail in group suits’ coffin

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

By Reynolds Holding

Wal-Mart’s win at the U.S. Supreme Court puts a nail in the coffin of big group lawsuits. The justices rightly blocked some 1.5 million female employees from banding together to sue the nation’s largest retailer. But while the ruling squares with existing law, an April decision broke new ground in an apparent effort to stop such class-action grievances.

Jun 16, 2011
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Amid global cybercrime, accidental hacks risk jail

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

Amid a global blitz of cybercrime, accidental hackers risk going to prison. A U.S. anti-hacking law is so broad that it may make any breach of an employer’s computer policy a crime. Recent attacks against Citigroup, Sony, the International Monetary Fund and others understandably feed demand for stiffer penalties. But prosecutors should avoid overkill with fat-fingered users of PCs and Macs.

    • 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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