Four Takeaways from MetLife’s SIFI Legal Challenge
by John Heltman and Joe Adler 
In another direct swipe at the government’s authority in the Dodd-Frank Act, MetLife’s legal challenge of its designation as a “systemically important” firm threatens to undercut the future role of the Financial Stability Oversight Council. The firm’s lawsuit against the FSOC filed Tuesday aired a laundry list of grievances about the designation process, including that MetLife should not have even been under the council’s purview. But the outcome of the case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia — the first challenge to any FSOC determination — could be even more far-reaching, serving as a litmus test of the council’s authority.  Karen Shaw Petrou, managing principal at Federal Financial Analytics, said the lawsuit may be a small player in the legislative drama, yet its role could become more significant.  “This is going to be very emotional,” Petrou said. “There is a view on the liberal wing of the Democratic Party that big banks remain ‘too big to fail.’ If there is a coalition on the Hill between the conservative Republicans and the liberal Democrats on the SIFI designation … then the political dynamic could be different.”