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Must be a virus

Posted By Russ Roberts On March 18, 2009 @ 3:34 pm In Financial Markets | Comments Disabled

Fannie and Freddie are going to pay bonuses, too. The AP reports [1] (HT: Drudge [2])

Fannie Mae plans to pay retention bonuses of as much as $611,000 each
to key executives this year as part of a plan to keep hundreds of
employees from leaving the government-controlled company.

Rival mortgage finance company Freddie Mac is planning similar
awards, but has not yet reported on which executives will benefit.

The
two companies, which together own or back more than half of the home
mortgages in the country, have been hobbled by skyrocketing loan
defaults. Fannie recently requested $15 billion in federal aid, while
Freddie has sought a total of almost $45 billion.

Fannie Mae
disclosed its "broad-based" retention program in a recent regulatory
filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company was
only required to disclose the amounts for the top-paid executives, who
will pocket at least $470,000 on top of their base salaries. The
bonuses are more than double last year's, which ranged from $200,000 to
$260,000.

More than double last year's?

Don't these people realize that they should be wearing hairshirts, eating gruel and wearing hand-me-downs? Don't they know there's a recession going on?

Seriously, this isn't going to fly. Not sure the bailouts can withstand the political pressure. What will Geithner say about this one?

Remember that Geithner has been involved since the Bush Administration in the bailout of AIG. Will Obama cut him loose and put Summers in?

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[1] AP reports: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Fannie-plans-bonuses-of-up-to-apf-14679491.html

[2] Drudge: http://www.drudgereport.com

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