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Sep 26, 2012
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More leeway won’t help SEC without better cases

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

More leeway in taking wrongdoers to court won’t help the Securities and Exchange Commission without better cases. The watchdog is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for additional time to sue investor Marc Gabelli over misdeeds a decade ago. Granting the request could make pursuing fraudsters easier. But effective enforcement requires filing solid cases against prominent perpetrators. The SEC too often falls short.
The regulator hasn’t been shy about pushing legal boundaries. In separate appeals decided last month, it argued unsuccessfully for extending time limits on suits against corporate executives and for using unproven civil allegations as evidence in criminal trials. But last month it also won permission to grab wrongdoers’ salaries and greater freedom to sue individuals who merely help financial criminals.

Sep 13, 2012
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No good deed unpunished for U.S. corporate citizens

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

No good deed goes unpunished for U.S. corporate citizens. The likes of Apple and Whole Foods draw far more protests than rivals that pay less attention to social responsibility, new research shows. That may make admirable firms even better, but it gives dodgy ones a free pass.

Sep 11, 2012
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Goldman at last gets a conflicts comeuppance

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

Goldman Sachs is at last getting its comeuppance over conflicts of interest. The bank is forfeiting a $20 million fee after playing both sides of Kinder Morgan’s $21 billion El Paso deal. It’s peanuts compared with Goldman’s other profits from the transaction. But on the heels of a similar outcome for Barclays, Wall Street is getting an education about skewed incentives in terms it can understand.

Sep 4, 2012
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Open courts healthy for Delaware and dealmakers

By Reynolds Holding 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)(Fixes link. 

Courts that are open to the public are healthy for Delaware and dealmakers. A U.S. district judge ruled that the state’s jurists can’t arbitrate disputes behind closed doors. That may disappoint shy companies, but it ensures that the Fortune 500’s preferred legal forum remains accountable. The mergers world can also depend on continued access to helpful -and sometimes witty – decisions.

Aug 31, 2012
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Apple may bury hatchet with Google just not yet

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

Apple may bury the hatchet with Google – just not quite yet. It’s no shock their chiefs, Tim Cook and Larry Page, are talking. The iPhone maker’s sweeping U.S. patent win over Samsung is a blow to the search giant, too. But the rivals’ clashing business models make peace difficult.

Aug 13, 2012
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China mistakes foreign law firms for Party poopers

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

China seems to be mistaking foreign lawyers for Party poopers. They’re dealmakers, not threats to communist rule. Yet wary leaders refuse to license non-Chinese law firms. That’s no way to lure overseas investment. Any policy change must wait until a tense murder case and political transition are over. But economic preeminence won’t come without the help of global lawyers.

Aug 7, 2012
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StanChart can’t avoid the long arm of the Lawsky

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


Standard Chartered can’t avoid the long arm of the Lawsky – Benjamin Lawsky, that is. The brash New York state financial services regulator is threatening to yank the British bank’s license over claims it hid some $250 billion in transactions for Iranian clients. It’s an aggressive move that grabs the spotlight from federal enforcers like the Department of Justice. But if StanChart wants to do business on Wall Street, it has to play by local rules.
 
The U.S. government has, of course, dinged plenty of foreign banks before. The Federal Reserve effectively booted Japan’s Daiwa from the country, the Senate slammed HSBC over money laundering and the DoJ and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission extracted hefty fines from Barclays for manipulating Libor.

Aug 1, 2012
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Loser Citi lawsuit sends SEC back to drawing board

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


A loser lawsuit against a Citigroup banker should send the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission back to the drawing board. A federal jury cleared Brian Stoker of misleading CDO investors, while also urging the watchdog to bring more financial fraud charges. But quantity isn’t the issue. The SEC has filed over 100 crisis-related suits. What’s too often lacking, as with the Citi example, is a solid case.

Jul 24, 2012
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Obama’s not the trustbuster he thought he would be

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

Barack Obama isn’t the trustbuster he thought he would be. The U.S. president roared into office promising an antitrust crackdown. But a new study concludes he’s no bolder than his allegedly wimpy predecessor.

Jul 24, 2012
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Do-it-yourself law firm IPO looks a bit too feisty

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By Reynolds Holding and Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.

The upcoming stock-market debut for America’s best-known do-it-yourself law firm looks a bit feisty. Bankers are valuing LegalZoom at a whopping 40 times last year’s earnings. That’s justifiable if the online legal site can turn impressive revenue growth into consistent earnings. But potential lawsuits and rising competition are just two of the company’s biggest risks.

    • 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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