|By Paul Davidson, @PDavidsonusat, USA TODAY|
Federal regulators said Tuesday they unanimously agreed to subject insurance giant
The council, an interagency panel formed after the 2008 financial crisis and headed by Treasury Secretary
"Today, the council has taken a decisive step to address threats to U.S. financial stability and create a safer and more resilient financial system," Lew said in a statement.
AIG said that it "welcomes" the designation.
Some financial analysts have said the designations could make it more difficult for the companies to buy back shares and raise dividends.
In a report explaining its ruling, the stability council said AIG's life insurance and retirement investment products have "features that could make them vulnerable to rapid and early withdrawals by policyholders."
Such withdrawals could force AIG to sell "a substantial portion" of its "large portfolio" of corporate and foreign bonds and asset-backed securities, disrupting financial markets. The panel also cited AIG's position as the top commercial insurance underwriter, noting a shutdown of the unit "could be protracted and disorderly."
In the financial crisis, AIG nearly shut down because it insured ill-fated mortgage-backed securities.
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