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The Freddie Mac Pigsty

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 30, 2009 7:56 AM |

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have served as Washington’s piggy bank for far too long. The issuance of a blank check by Uncle Sam on Christmas Eve to cover losses at Freddie and Fannie through 2012 only cements the legacy of the pigs who have fed at the Freddie and Fannie trough.

While the sty is mighty big, don’t think for a second that the pillaging and plundering of these organizations is restricted to the high and mighty politicos who pretend to know how to develop housing policy and programs. What do I mean?

Tucked away in one corner of the sty is this little gem posted by The Wall Street Journal, Freddie HR Chief’s Big Payday:

Freddie Mac’s Christmas Eve securities filing on executive compensation showed that the company’s human-resources chief, Paul George, is among the mortgage company’s five highest-paid officers, with annual pay of up to $2.7 million, depending on incentive payments. That makes Mr. George a rarity. Corporate Library says HR executives are among the five best compensated at just 186, or 6%, of the 3,200 corporations in the research firm’s North American database. And among those happy 186 HR honchos, Mr. George ranks in the top 15 in terms of pay.

Before the government took over the reins in 2008 amid soaring losses, Freddie was slow to find successors for its chief executive and chief operating officer, despite prodding from regulators. Mr. George, who worked at Wachovia Corp. before joining Freddie Mac in 2005, didn’t respond to requests for comment. A Freddie spokeswoman declined to comment.

Freddie and Fannie have morphed from quasi-government agencies to full blown wards of the state. The execs and employees should serve at the behest and under the direction of U.S. Treasury.  That is a problem worthy of a separate post.

To that end, when did government personnel positions pay this kind of wage?

Where’s the accountability? What do Tim Geithner and pay czar Kenneth Feinberg have to say about Mr. George’s paycheck?

With all due respect to Mr. George, I feel strongly that if this position were posted by a placement firm, Freddie Mac could easily fill it with many qualified candidates at less than 35 cents on this dollar.

No doubt the sty truly smells, but with the price of this ‘feed’ the ones truly getting slaughtered here are the American taxpayers.


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