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Breakingviews: Investment cost of free speech

Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 03:00

May 16 - Jeffrey Goldfarb talks to Reynolds Holding about how the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution could start to affect the markets.

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The -- on a lot of things to fret about these days and don't wanna look at you wouldn't think would be the First Amendment of the constitution of the United States. But our own Reynolds holding thinks that's -- of the need to keep an eye on what's why are there a couple of -- out there I mean just to step back a little bit to the SEC underdog to frank we've made these two rules that companies had to disclose certain holdings in Africa and whether there -- -- and wacky little corner of what I did learn themselves. And companies don't like -- they think it's expensive and and there are also raising a very interesting -- -- argument they're saying it violates their right not to speak that they don't have to inject themselves into the controversy of warring factions in the Congo -- and is a component of of the First Amendment that we don't really think about how much your ability to speak but. -- -- not -- -- -- and on top of that we think of you know the -- jehovah's witness kids in 1943 now wanna I don't think about the save the pledge of acquaintance of the codes -- important you know you don't have to -- it violates your beliefs we think the first of the First Amendment is covering individual rights. Well that's really been expanded by particularly the Supreme Court in recent years saying. You know in the famous political contributions -- Citizens United I want to write that Skype a lot of free speech applies to corporations it's also sent the commercial speech is also pretty much on a pawn now. With political speech -- -- so that's given real after these arguments he's president of -- other cases right now so in addition to this. This complain about this little dot franc provision that they've for the free speech argument has been made in some other -- yes well last week -- the DC circuit said the company did not have to post. -- government written. Notice about one -- employees had in the workplace I mean this is really kind of -- -- now we haven't seen anything that would necessarily directly impact investors you're sort of taken the yard you're saying yeah this is a slippery -- -- -- sense I mean from the over the past fifty years it's. Clearly marched in one direction it's corporations have a very powerful. What argument now to say -- we don't have to say things we don't wanna -- in -- does that mean. Where does that end does that mean they don't have to report numbers quarterly revenues. Pretty hard to believe -- whereas a law stands now that's probably not you know that but there are other branch closures that we're thinking if companies are wanna keep things quiet as -- thing I mean if you're talking to government as opposed. Talk in the public you get a little bit less protection and that's still the law. But you know you look at the DC circuit you look at the Supreme Court and in the Supreme Court has done some pretty amazing things in terms of supporting him. Corporate cases and you can see where this thing could be going and if it does go to the extent that we're getting less disclosure. You know that's the last thing that investors really wanna hear are the financial price he'll believe it fair. We're giving you one more thing to worry about the First Amendment. We'll be back with more breaking -- tomorrow.

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Breakingviews: Investment cost of free speech

Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 03:00