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June 23, 2016

Better Markets’ Brief in MetLife v. FSOC: Prevent Future Crises and Taxpayer Funded Bailouts

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Contact: Nick Jacobs, 202-618-6430 or

Washington, D.C. – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, issued this statement on the amicus brief filed today by Better Markets in MetLife, Inc. v.  Financial Stability Oversight Council:

“The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) is the primary regulator protecting the American people from dangerous threats in the shadow banking system.  In 2008, the American people had to bailout many nonbank financial firms like AIG, Bear Stearns, GE Capital and money market funds.  FSOC was created to make sure that didn’t happen again, but the District Court opinion on appeal in this case crippled FSOC’s ability to do that and makes future crisis and bailouts more likely.

Our amicus brief filed today focuses on the numerous errors in that district court decision. Foremost among them was the district court substitution of its own judgments for those of the expert regulators who make up the FSOC, not only about complex technical matters but also about what those regulators meant in their previous writings. In doing so, the decision put the interests of a financial giant ahead of the public interest. And it threatens a broader harm by gutting the FSOC’s ability to protect our financial system from the risks posed by other giant financial firms. If MetLife prevails on appeal, the next AIG, which received an $182 billion bailout in 2008, will be around the corner, unseen and unregulated, only to appear as a surprise in the middle of the next crisis.

“Better Markets’ amicus brief makes clear that the district court’s ruling erred in three ways. First, the court misread the FSOC’s own Guidance and failed to defer to the FSOC’s understanding of what it wrote. Second, the court second-guessed the thoughtful mix of quantitative and qualitative factors that the FSOC used in evaluating MetLife, insisting, contrary to experts’ judgment, that more quantification was required. And finally, the court created a cost-benefit-analysis requirement out of thin air despite Congress’s express decision not to include one in the statute.  For these reasons — and for the sake of our financial system, our economy and our taxpayers — the appeal court should overrule the district court”


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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