WASHINGTON May 4 The U.S. government on
Thursday requested a 60-day pause in a case involving MetLife
Inc, the country's largest life insurer, and how
regulators designate certain companies as "too big to fail," a
major reform arising from the 2007-09 financial crisis.
MetLife had asked for a delay in the case last month, saying
the court should wait until President Donald Trump's
administration finishes its financial regulation review.
The Republican president has ordered Treasury Secretary
Steven Mnuchin to look into the designations and the 2010
Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law that established how to
identify "systemically important" firms so big they could
devastate the financial system if they failed.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council, chaired by
Mnuchin, said in a court filing it did not take a position on
waiting until Treasury reports the review's findings.
It said, however, that council members, including Federal
Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and new Securities and Exchange
Commission Chair Jay Clayton, needed "additional time for
The council will delve into the designation process and
Trump's review at a meeting next Monday, according to a notice
In March 2016, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer struck
down the FSOC's designation of MetLife as "systemically
important," saying it was "arbitrary and capricious."
The administration of former Democratic President Barack
Obama appealed and the two sides squared off in court last
October, with a decision expected this month.
Some companies are wary of the "too-big-to-fail" designation
because it forces them to hold on to capital and creates extra
oversight they say is burdensome.
The only two nonbanks now carrying the label are American
International Group, which received a $182 billion
bailout during the crisis, and Prudential Insurance.
MetLife is not considered designated during the appeal.
Critics of the designations have said the Trump
administration should be able to withdraw the appeal or the
court should at least consider the new president's views and his
review's findings, which are expected to call for changes to
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Peter Cooney)