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Fannie, Freddie CEOs Took Millions, Far More Than Gingrich
PJ Media ^ | November 20, 2011 | Patrick Richardson

Posted on 11/20/2011 4:49:58 PM PST by Kaslin

Executive compensation at the mortgage giants is the real scandal.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are back in the news, as it was recently revealed that Freddie Mac paid over $1 million to presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to be a consultant.

Gingrich maintains he simply gave advice to the company, which was not followed — this is not illegal. As Bryan Preston points out, Gingrich is merely guilty of feeding at the government trough. While troubling, this is hardly a matter comparable to that of top executive compensation at Fannie and Freddie: they took millions, while taxpayers shoveled out billions to try to rescue the giants.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released a report on their compensation just prior to a November 16 hearing on executive salaries at the mortgage giants. The testimony was rather interesting: Issa asked several questions of both Fannie Mae CEO Michael Williams and Freddie Mac CEO Ed Haldeman regarding their compensation. They didn’t seem to be able to remember how much money they’d made in recent years.

Williams has been with Fannie for decades. He could remember how much money he’d made in 1991 when he started — $115,000 — but not how much he made the year before he became CEO, nor the first time he made more than $1 million in a year. Such a thing should be memorable, as Issa noted.

Meanwhile, Haldeman — who made roughly $9 million over the last two years at Freddie — couldn’t remember how much money he’d made his last year in the private sector.

According to the report, the actual numbers are staggering:

In 2009 and 2010, the Enterprises’ (ed. note “Enterprises” is Fannie and Freddie) top six officers were given a total of more than $35 million in compensation. Of that amount, a total of $17 million in compensation was given to the CEOs of the Enterprises.

Government ownership of Fannie and Freddie has easily turned into “the most expensive bailout of the 2008 financial crisis.” Since entering conservatorship, the Enterprises have taken $169 billion from the Treasury and still owe taxpayers $141 billion. Every quarter, the total continues to mount as the Enterprises keep posting net losses. Freddie recently asked Treasury for an additional $6 billion after reporting $4.6 billion in net losses in its third quarter earnings, and Fannie requested an additional $7.8 billion in aid after reported a third quarter loss of $5.1 billion. With FHFA’s (Federal Housing Finance Agency) projection that it will cost at least $51 billion more to support the Enterprises through 2014, the overall bill to the American taxpayers will not be cheap.

Of that $35 million in total compensation, nearly half was salaries and bonuses for Williams and Haldeman:

The total approved compensation for the top six executives at Fannie and Freddie for 2009 and 2010 totaled more than $35.4 million. The Enterprises’ two CEOs received approximately $17 million. In 2010, Ed Haldeman, Freddie Mac’s CEO, received a base salary of $900,000, and took home an additional $2.3 million in bonus pay. Haldeman stands to make as much as $6 million in 2011. Meanwhile, Michael Williams, Fannie Mae’s CEO, took home $900,000 in base pay in 2010, along with an additional $2.37 million in performance bonuses. Williams also may take home as much as $6 million in 2011. One Fannie Mae executive, Susan McFarland, received a $1.7 million signing bonus upon joining Fannie in June 2009. In contrast, FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco — the Enterprises’ conservator — earns only $239,555 a year.

The report goes on to note that overall compensation is down 40 percent from before the companies were placed in conservatorship, and FHFA has taken steps to address executive pay. But the changes are small-scale and “are insufficient to stem taxpayer-funded losses at Fannie and Freddie.” In fact, the FHFA’s Office of Inspector General said the executive pay structure at Fannie and Freddie “will likely continue to generate significant controversy.”

More troubling still, it seems executives at Fannie and Freddie had a say in determining their own pay scales:

When FHFA established the Enterprises’ overall executive compensation packages in 2009, it did not act alone. FHFA consulted with the Treasury Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation, Kenneth R. Feinberg, and outside compensation consultants hired by the Enterprises and FHFA. Additionally, senior executives from the Enterprises themselves were closely involved in the decision-making process It remains unclear what role executives at the Enterprises have played in determining their annual pay since, but their influence on the pay packages in the first place raises questions about the process by which executive compensation is set at the Enterprises. These annual targeted compensation processes will remain in place indefinitely, unless they are modified by FHFA. However, FHFA has shown no willingness to take action to change them.

Not only did the execs help decide what they were going to get paid, but the bonus structures were based on profitable companies, and not ones which were a key cause of the current economic meltdown:

The Enterprises paid outside compensation consultants $655,000 in 2008 and $560,000 in 2009 to determine their own pay structure. To arrive at salary levels, the consultants assisted the Enterprises in identifying compensation at “comparable” firms. However, instead of looking to truly similar institutions like Ginnie Mae, FHFA, or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the institutions that the consultants identified — large banks and insurance companies like Bank of NY Mellon Co., MetLife, Inc. and Capital One Financial Co. — were anything but comparable to Fannie and Freddie. If these private sector institutions were not profitable by themselves, as is presently the case with the Enterprises, instead of being handsomely rewarded with bonuses, their executives would likely be fired.

Worse, apparently FHFA doesn’t even have the tools needed to keep control of compensation at Fannie and Freddie, according to the IG:

FHFA-OIG found that FHFA’s executive compensation “oversight processes lack a number of key controls necessary to ensure their effectiveness.”

The congressional report’s conclusions were damning as well:

As Fannie and Freddie enter year three of their conservatorship, little progress has been made to wind them down. The Enterprises continue to lose billions of dollars and continue to milk the American taxpayers for more and more financial support. Meanwhile, executives at Fannie and Freddie, influenced by perverse incentives and rewarded by questionable performance criteria, continue to receive enormous compensation packages.

By way of comparison, rank and file representatives and senators make $174,000, with members of the leadership making a bit more.

The left has complained about executive pay for several years now, and Obama himself in 2009 capped executive salaries at $500,000 for companies receiving “exceptional bailout assistance.” He said at the time:

This is America. We don’t disparage wealth. We don’t begrudge anybody for achieving success. But what gets people upset — and rightfully so — are executives being rewarded for failure. Especially when those rewards are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.

Billions in losses and payouts from the Treasury would certainly seem to be “exceptional assistance.” Moreover, any CEO at a private company taking these kinds of losses year after year would be “invited to resign” if he wasn’t fired outright. So why are these two, indeed these six, still employed?

This would seem to be a larger issue than one presidential candidate being paid for his advice when he was a private citizen.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Politics
KEYWORDS: hypocrites

1 posted on 11/20/2011 4:50:00 PM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Fannie and Freddy were the Democrat party's hammer and sickle to take out the economy so that they could force the election. They literally burned down the economy to capture the presidency.

Traitors, who should all stand before a Military Tribunal for treason and sedition in a time of war. Destroying the homes and retirements of a few hundred Million Americans in a vain grasp for more power, that they then used to loot the treasury and economically enslave generations to come.

They better enjoy the filthy lucre now, for they, like all men, will answer to God at the end of their days for how they treated their fellow man.

There is a fate worse than death...

2 posted on 11/20/2011 5:00:18 PM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: Kaslin

the newties will be insulted about this.


3 posted on 11/20/2011 5:00:31 PM PST by ken21
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To: Kaslin

So he made less than the crooks who ran it into the ground? That is supposed to be impressive?


4 posted on 11/20/2011 5:02:31 PM PST by montag813
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To: montag813

Yep, as the old joke goes: we’ve established what he is, now we’re just haggling over his price.


5 posted on 11/20/2011 5:07:58 PM PST by tumblindice
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To: Kaslin

What an idiotic comparison, between the compensation of CEOs and the fees paid a consultant.

Good grief.


6 posted on 11/20/2011 5:10:40 PM PST by fightinJAG (NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION! Everyone should pay taxes, everyone should pay the same rate.)
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To: ken21
I asked this on another thread, but not one person took a stab at trying to answer:

Does anyone want to answer the question as to why they think Gingrich’s work for Freddie Mac can be brushed off as saying nothing about his political instincts?

7 posted on 11/20/2011 5:11:57 PM PST by fightinJAG (NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION! Everyone should pay taxes, everyone should pay the same rate.)
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To: montag813
So he made less than the crooks who ran it into the ground? That is supposed to be impressive?

SPOT ON.

This is one of the more idiotic comparisons/"analyses" I've seen 'round these parts in a while.

8 posted on 11/20/2011 5:13:34 PM PST by fightinJAG (NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION! Everyone should pay taxes, everyone should pay the same rate.)
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To: Kaslin

The firms’ chief executives have base salaries of $900,000 annually. They stand to make as much as $6 million a year after receiving deferred pay and bonuses. The executives’ compensation packages remain 40% below the levels before the government took the firms over in 2008, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the two firms.

Edward DeMarco, the acting head of FHFA, argued that cutting workers’ pay would lead to losses for taxpayers in the long run. For example, he cited the agency’s lawsuits against the nation’s largest banks for poorly underwritten loans during the housing boom. “I need to have qualified and experienced counsel,” for those lawsuits, he said.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-fannie-freddie-ceos-defend-bonuses-on-capitol-hill-20111116,0,4454495.story


9 posted on 11/20/2011 5:16:37 PM PST by kcvl
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To: Kaslin
Once long ago, such things were called embezzlement, but now that they are run by Democrat political appointees, tens of millions of dollars missing from the till is called a salary. Amazing pay for people who's incompetence destroyed the business. Unless of course, the high pay was TO destroy the economy. In that case, they were quite competent.

Destruction pays so very well. Just think of it as National Economic Hit Men.

10 posted on 11/20/2011 5:18:35 PM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: kcvl

So Newt only rises to the level of junior level crook? Someone needs to tell Newt that legal doesn not necessarily mean correct or moral.


11 posted on 11/20/2011 5:20:49 PM PST by Ingtar
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To: Kaslin
Moreover, any CEO at a private company taking these kinds of losses year after year would be “invited to resign” if he wasn’t fired outright. So why are these two, indeed these six, still employed?

This would seem to be a larger issue than one presidential candidate being paid for his advice when he was a private citizen.

Yes, it would seem to be a pretty clear case of TREASON to enable the Socialist take over of the United States of America.

12 posted on 11/20/2011 5:22:55 PM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: Kaslin
The CEOs never pretended to be anti government Conservatives. Newt does.
13 posted on 11/20/2011 5:44:38 PM PST by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: fightinJAG

i’m reading “reckless endangerment” by morgenson.

the people inside the home mortgage business or even near it could not have known that there was an impending train wreck.

i’d like to see newt’s report to freddie mac!


14 posted on 11/20/2011 5:44:50 PM PST by ken21
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To: ken21; fightinJAG

How do we know Newt didn’t advise them to stop giving loans to people who couldn’t afford them? He says his advice was not taken, which is typical of liberals and their advisers and committees.


15 posted on 11/20/2011 6:16:08 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: MNJohnnie

see #15


16 posted on 11/20/2011 6:17:52 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: Kaslin

What exactly did Newt do to earn that $1.million?

__


17 posted on 11/20/2011 6:20:36 PM PST by fightu4it (conquest by immigration and subversion spells the end of US.)
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To: ez

you don’t,

unless you have access to newt’s report.

surely someone would have that report.


18 posted on 11/20/2011 6:27:23 PM PST by ken21
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To: ez

I know, don’t bother the Newtbots with the inconvenient facts about St Newt.


19 posted on 11/20/2011 6:33:32 PM PST by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: MNJohnnie

For a guy who spends all day every day trying to knock Newt back to the pack, you sure get annoyed at people with opinions that differ from yours. It’s pretty funny when you accuse other people of virulent advocacy.


20 posted on 11/20/2011 6:52:16 PM PST by ez ("Abashed the Devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, "Paradise Lost")
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To: ken21

I have that book in my queque.

If Newt gave them a report, he certainly should publish it.


21 posted on 11/20/2011 7:00:15 PM PST by fightinJAG (NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION! Everyone should pay taxes, everyone should pay the same rate.)
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