Casey: Fannie and Freddie Bonuses Are an Outrage

Casey Sends Letter to FHFA and Treasury Objecting to Nearly $13 Million in Bonuses to Executives

Entities Have Received $141b in Taxpayer Funds

WASHINGTON, DCU.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today sent a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Treasury objecting to news that nearly $13 million in bonuses were approved for ten executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

“This is an outrage,” said Senator Casey. “Families across Pennsylvania are struggling to make ends meet - many have lost their homes and their jobs - and now the federal government wants them to accept millions of dollars in bonus to these executives.”

The letter urges FHFA to make changes to the executive compensation policy to more accurately reflect the mission of the agency. Secretary Geithner was included in the letter due to the role the Treasury Department plays in overseeing taxpayer dollars that were used to bail out Fannie and Freddie.

Casey joined 59 other senators in a bipartisan letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Edward DeMarco and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Mr. Edward DeMarco
Acting Director
Federal Housing Finance Agency

Dear Mr. DeMarco:

On November 1, 2011, it was reported that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) approved $12.79 million in bonus pay for ten executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). At a time when these entities have received nearly $141 billion in taxpayer-provided bailout funding, such excessive compensation seems wildly imprudent. Moreover, the full cost of conservatorship remains a moving target.

We are sincerely concerned about the message this sends to millions of American families when the unemployment rate stands at 9.0% and the housing market remains very weak. As American families are tightening their belts in light of the struggling economy, the federal government must take steps to ensure that the conservatorship is receiving proper oversight. The wasteful nature of these bonuses, however, is a step in the wrong direction.

The idea that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which rely on taxpayer funding to stay afloat, must offer excessive bonuses to its executives to attract effective management strains credulity. We therefore urge you to make substantial changes to the executive compensation policies to more accurately reflect the public mission of your agency and the fiscal reality facing the GSEs and the federal government. We also request an update regarding your actions to reform compensation package protocol and what steps have been taken to address the concerns raised by the FHFA Inspector General in the March, 2011 report “Evaluation of Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Oversight of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Executive Compensation Programs.”

Cc: The Honorable Timothy F. Geithner