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Analysis

September 30, 2015

MetLife’s Lawsuit Against the FSOC Could Lead to More Financial Crashes and More Massive Bailouts Like AIG’s

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) is the country’s only early warning system for systemic threats posed to our financial system and economy from nonbank financial firms. It is also the only entity that stands between taxpayers and future bailouts of such nonbank firms. Despite broad support for the creation of FSOC in the wake of the financial crisis — including from many in the financial services industry — systemically significant firms are now turning on this law, shown most notably through their opposition of the FSOC’s recent designation ​of the gigantic global insurance company MetLife as a systemically significant nonbank. To understand how we got here, the importance of the FSOC, and how a lawsuit by MetLife could put taxpayers back on the hook for more bailouts, we must first look back at a defining moment: AIG’s failure and the government’s taxpayer-supported rescue.

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