The Real Deal New York

Paycut looms for mortgage giant execs

March 09, 2012 02:30PM

From left: Fannie Mae CEO Michael Williams and Freddie Mac CEO Ed Haldeman

A dozen housing executives are about to take a massive paycut.

The Associated Press reported that the salaries of the top 70 employees at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be limited to $500,000 per year and bonuses will be eliminated. In 2009 and 2010 the top 12 executives at the government-sponsored enterprises collectively earned $35.4 million in bonuses and salary, with Fannie CEO Michael Williams and Freddie CEO Edward Haldeman receiving $9.3 million and $7.8 million, respectively, for the two-year stretch.

The executives’ compensation has come under fire from members of Congress who complain the pay packages are inappropriate for organizations that benefited from the largest taxpayer bailout, $170 billion, in 2008. There’s no start date in place for the revised compensation, and in 2012 the CEOs will each be paid $5.4 million. They previously announced they would be stepping down at the end of the year.

Edward DeMarco, the director of the Federal Housing Finance agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie, has defended the old salaries and bonsuses, saying they are needed to retain talented executives, without whom, taxpayers would suffer greater losses. [AP]

  • kcrail

    Oh, and what about all the investment bankers who are making billions from securitizing the loans? Level the playing field. Limit pay for bankers as well.

    That’s what happened last time around. Fannie and Freddie were playing catch-up to their pals in the banks, who had been making enormous fees writing sub-prime, no-doc loans. Now they are again being put at a disadvantage, vis-a-vis Wall Street.

    I think the cap should be in the low single millions for all bankers (including all bonuses, cash and stock), including those at Fannie and Freddie. Then we’d see sanity return to mortgage lending.

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