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March 26, 2009
Rahmbo's stint with Freddie Mac
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Rahm Emanuel's short but sweet employment by Fannie Mae back in 2000 not only netted the current chief of staff at the White House in excess of $300,000 but also wonders what he did to earn those bucks.
Emanuel came on board Freddie Mac at a time when the mortgage giant was cooking its books to deceive regulators about its losses. What did Rahm know? Good question:
Before its portfolio of bad loans helped trigger the current housing crisis, mortgage giant Freddie Mac was the focus of a major accounting scandal that led to a management shake-up, huge fines and scalding condemnation of passive directors by a top federal regulator.
One of those allegedly asleep-at-the-switch board members was Chicago's Rahm Emanuel—now chief of staff to President Barack Obama—who made at least $320,000 for a 14-month stint at Freddie Mac that required little effort.
He was named to the Freddie Mac board in February 2000 by Clinton, whom Emanuel had served as White House political director and vocal defender during the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals.
The board met no more than six times a year. Unlike most fellow directors, Emanuel was not assigned to any of the board's working committees, according to company proxy statements. Immediately upon joining the board, Emanuel and other new directors qualified for $380,000 in stock and options plus a $20,000 annual fee, records indicate.
On Emanuel's watch, the board was told by executives of a plan to use accounting tricks to mislead shareholders about outsize profits the government-chartered firm was then reaping from risky investments. The goal was to push earnings onto the books in future years, ensuring that Freddie Mac would appear profitable on paper for years to come and helping maximize annual bonuses for company brass.
There's much more on Freddie Mac follies at the link.
In summary, if Emanuel were a Republican, he would have about 3 Congressional Committees investigating him right now. As it is, he gets off scott free and got a nice payday for his efforts to deceive taxpayers to boot.