Bernanke to give deposition in AIG bailout lawsuit

Ben Bernanke

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. judge has ordered that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke can be questioned in a lawsuit against the government filed by the former head of American International Group Inc.

It is rare for a Fed chairman to be deposed in a lawsuit. But Judge Thomas Wheeler of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims said Monday that an exception should be made. That’s because Bernanke has first-hand knowledge of the government’s decision to bail out AIG at the height of the financial crisis, he said.

Hank Greenberg, the former AIG CEO, has sued the government over the bailout, claiming its terms were too onerous. AIG has since repaid the $182 billion.

Greenberg’s lawyers want Bernanke to be deposed on Aug. 16.

A Fed spokesman said there was no immediate comment.

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