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November 19, 2015

Working to Lift the Veil of Secrecy from MetLife’s Attack on FSOC: Better Markets Files Court Action

Better Markets has filed a motion to give the public the transparency it deserves in MetLife vs. FSOC, MetLife’s lawsuit challenging the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) designation of the global insurance company as a possible systemic risk. The FSOC is the only entity responsible for identifying and reducing the threat to financial stability from non-banks like AIG and MetLife and ensuring that all regulators are working together to prevent financial crashes. This landmark case could define the government’s ability to prevent future financial crises like the 2008 crash for years to come. 

In MetLife v. FSOC, MetLife is attempting to nullify the FSOC’s judgment that, as a globally significant and interconnected insurance conglomerate, MetLife should be subject to enhanced supervision by financial regulators. A decision in favor of MetLife could erase that crucial new layer of oversight and paralyze the FSOC in its ability to address other systemic risks to the financial system before they ignite another financial crisis. Two-thirds of the core body of evidence that the parties are relying on to make their case—and that the Court will rely on to render its decision—has been filed under seal. The court has never independently assessed whether the blanket sealing of so much information is justified or whether the parties’ interests in confidentiality outweigh the public interest in transparency.

The public has a presumptive right of access to judicial records that is firmly established in the law, deeply rooted in our history and tradition, and essential to the integrity of our democracy. Better Markets’ motion with the court seeks to vindicate this right of access to the fullest possible extent.



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