* No need demonstrated for Bernanke testimony -U.S.
* Greenberg's Starr Int'l had been top AIG shareholder
* Starr lawyer: Bernanke has "important testimony to give"
July 9 The Federal Reserve chairman should not
testify in the lawsuit by American International Group Inc's
former chief Maurice "Hank" Greenberg against the United
States over the insurer's 2008 bailout, the U.S. Department of
In a Monday filing with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims,
the government said Greenberg's Starr International Co failed to
show the "extraordinary circumstances" needed to justify a
deposition of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in the
The government said information about Bernanke's role in the
bailout of AIG can be obtained elsewhere, such as minutes of the
Federal Reserve's Board of Governors or interviews of other
It said this obviated any need for a deposition that Starr
wants to hold on Aug. 16, and added that high-ranking government
officials like Bernanke in general cannot be deposed over the
reasons that they took official actions.
David Boies, a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner
representing Starr, said in an email: "We believe Mr. Bernanke
has important testimony to give in this case."
Last month, Court of Claims Judge Thomas Wheeler said Starr
may pursue claims over the government's taking of a 79.9 percent
stake in AIG in September 2008 and a separate 1-for-20 reverse
stock split in June 2009.
A trial could begin late next year. AIG's board decided in
January not to join Starr's lawsuit after a public backlash,
including from Congress.
Starr once held a 12 percent stake in AIG, which had been
the world's largest insurer by market value prior to the
financial crisis and a $182.3 billion federal bailout.
Greenberg, 88, led AIG for nearly four decades before his
2005 ouster. Starr is appealing another judge's dismissal of a
related lawsuit against the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The case is Starr International Co. v. U.S., U.S. Court of
Federal Claims, No. 11-00779.