Reynolds's Feed
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.

Jun 14, 2011
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Supremes show fund bosses how to skirt fraud suits

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

The U.S. Supreme Court has shown mutual fund bosses an easy way to skirt class-action lawsuits. All it requires is keeping their big pots of invested money legally separate from management. But the ruling involving Janus Capital Group appears to have even broader implications for aggrieved investors. Exchange-traded funds, money-market funds and other listed firms might be able to follow the same blueprint to avoid liability.

Jun 9, 2011
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Picard aims for triple-word score in Madoff case

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

Irving Picard is aiming for a triple-word score in the Bernard Madoff case. He’s not playing Scrabble, but the trustee for the Ponzi schemer’s victims is trying for treble damages of $59 billion by suing Madoff’s Italian and Austrian banks for racketeering. Though the novel tack raises issues that a judge on June 6 agreed to resolve, Picard has again shown a creative touch in beating the bushes for cash.

May 25, 2011

Uncle Sam scrambles signals on smartphone privacy

By Reynolds Holding

NEW YORK, May 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) – BlackBerries, iPhones and other smartphones record our daily work and personal lives. But the law shielding that information is up for grabs. The Oregon Supreme Court, for example, is mulling whether cops need warrants to search data on a phone, an issue that has split U.S. judges. People and businesses can only wait for the law to catch up.

This is nothing to do with recording your conversations. This is about the information on your phone: contacts, emails, calendars and so on. The police usually need a warrant to search property. For that, they have to persuade a judge they’ll probably find incriminating evidence. But if you’re arrested, they can rummage warrant-free through almost anything on or near you, like a wallet. A smartphone holds vastly more data and could reveal secrets. Courts are grappling with how much privacy a phone deserves.

May 20, 2011
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Rajaratnam wrongs hide insider trading law flaws

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

NEW YORK — Raj Rajaratnam’s wrongs have hidden the flaws of insider trading laws. The crimes that the Galleon Group founder committed were clear. But many U.S. situations, like the trading indiscretions of Berkshire Hathaway’s David Sokol and transactions by members of Congress, turn on rubbery legal concepts with gray areas. With a related trial opening this week and more in the pipeline, the time is right for lawmakers to provide greater clarity.

May 16, 2011
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Nasdaq-NYSE slap may signal tougher Justice

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

The collapse of the joint Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange bid for NYSE Euronext may signal that the U.S. Justice Department is getting tougher. The merger of America’s two main listing venues always looked like an uphill battle from a legal point of view. But the DoJ’s quick and decisive move to block the deal suggests a long-promised hard line.

May 11, 2011
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Raj appeal could give wiretaps needed airing

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

By Reynolds Holding

Wiretaps — once used mainly to ensnare the mob — all but sealed Raj Rajaratnam’s insider trading conviction in New York on Wednesday. But the FBI’s dodgy tactics in getting them raise the question of whether the ends justified the means. The Galleon Group founder will probably challenge the secret recordings on appeal.

    • 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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