As Baron von Ottomatic previously noted, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the poorly managed government-backed mortgage giants whose collapse largely precipitated the current economic crisis and triggered AIG's credit default swap meltdown -- will be paying out approximately $210 million in retention bonuses to key employees. As you may recall, AIG's inexcusable, unconscionable, immoral, outrageous, "they-deserve-a-90%-tax" retention bonus payments totaled $165 million.
Mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plan to pay more than $210 million in bonuses through next year to give workers the incentive to stay in their jobs at the government-controlled companies.
The companies' federal regulator, James Lockhart of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, defended the bonuses in a March 27 letter to Grassley, noting that the collapse of the company's stock prices "destroyed years of savings for many" workers. The companies' stocks now trade below $1, down from more than $60 in fall 2007.
More than 70 percent of new loans in recent months have been backed by Fannie and Freddie. They own or guarantee almost 31 million mortgages worth about $5.5 trillion, more than half of all U.S home loans.
Keeping the companies "operating at full speed was best for the housing markets and best for the economy," Lockhart wrote. "That would only be possible if we retained the Fannie and Freddie teams."
No sh*t. Any of this sound vaguely familiar?
No word yet on whether the Obama
Campaign White House has ordered its minions at Organizing For America or ACORN to begin sharpening their pitchforks ...