On Wednesday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives had to appear before Congress to discuss the recent issue of their wanting to give themselves some big, huge bonuses. Needless to say, the Congresspeople were none too thrilled with these folks, as this LA Times article highlights:
The chief executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac faced bipartisan outrage Wednesday over multimillion-dollar salaries and large bonuses at the seized housing finance giants, which still owe the government a combined $150 billion in the largest financial crisis bailout.
“Should you profit while the taxpayer is paying the bill?” asked Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
He summoned Fannie Mae CEO Michael Williams and Freddie Mac CEO Charles “Ed” Haldeman Jr. to testify before his committee. The hearing came a day after another House panel voted overwhelmingly to suspend large executive compensation packages at the two companies and align their salaries with that of government employees.
The total compensation for the top six executives at Fannie and Freddie for 2009 and 2010 was $35.4 million, with Williams and Haldeman receiving about half of that. Each of them could take home as much as $6 million apiece in salary and bonuses in 2011.
The salary and compensation were defended by Williams, Haldeman and Edward DeMarco, the latter of whom is the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which has overseen Fannie and Freddie since they were put in a government conservatorship in 2008 because they were on the brink of failure. (Click here to read the rest.)
Below is an audio of some of the questioning by Rep. Darrell Issa, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, of these executives. They asked some pretty pointed questions, which, frankly, I think the executives did a poor job of answering:
I have to say, I loved when Rep. Elijah Cummings from Georgia mentioned that he sure would remember when he made a million dollars a year. Yeah, no kidding, especially when one is being paid with taxpayer money. I also loved when Rep. Cummings said these two entities had to be dragged along by Congress to do their work. You tell ’em, Rep. Cummings!
It is just amazing the sheer lack of remorse these executives demonstrate, despite their utter failures thus far at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And they think they deserve bonuses for running the two further into the ground? Unbelievable.
And while I type, Energy Director Chu is also facing the music. He is testifying before Congress about the loan made to Solyndra (and presumably related loans). While this is ongoing, one statement Director Chu did make was this:
[snip] But he acknowledged that chances are dim for taxpayers to see their money returned as Solyndra goes through bankruptcy proceedings.
Asked how much money taxpayers might get back, Chu said: “Well, that remains to be seen. I’m anticipating that not very much.”
Well, that’s just great. Thanks, Director Chu. What a great director you have been for the DOE (snark). Like Holder, Chu cannot muster an apology for this debacle:
While declining to offer a personal apology over the situation, Chu expressed disappointment in the fate of Solyndra and said the buck stopped with him when it came to decisions made by the Energy Department about the company.
Chu claimed he was looking out for the taxpayer all along when reviewing the Solyndra finances.
“As the Secretary of Energy, the final decisions on Solyndra were mine, and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind,” Chu said in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “And I want to be clear: over the course of Solyndra’s loan guarantee, I did not make any decision based on political considerations.” (Click here to read the rest.)
And like Holder, all evidence to the contrary as information continues to trickle out about Solyndra and the White House.
What a bunch of liars these Administration people are, and these executives from Fannie and Freddie would be laughable, if it wasn’t OUR money on the line.
Thank heavens the Congress is exercising its oversight. I hope they root out every little pertinent detail on both of these issues. I look forward to seeing the end result of all of this, don’t you? And it cannot come soon enough to suit me. How about you?