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MetLife's 'too big to fail' tag is 'arbitrary, capricious': judge

The MetLife building is seen in New York, March 8, 2010.

Federal regulators' decision to designate insurer MetLife Inc (MET.N) as "too big to fail" was "arbitrary and capricious," the U.S. judge who struck down the determination last month wrote in an opinion that was unsealed on Thursday.

Commenting on the judge's decision, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the government will vigorously defend the work of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), made up of the heads of the country's financial regulatory agencies, which designated MetLife as a systemically important financial institution in 2014.

"This decision leaves one of the largest and most highly interconnected financial companies in the world subject to even less oversight than before the financial crisis," Lew said in a statement. "I am confident that we will prevail.”

Obama administration sources familiar with the case said on Thursday they believe that a U.S. government appeal of the decision...