When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac came with hats in hand to beg for another $14 billion in taxpayers' money, there was bipartisan outrage at the committee hearing over their salaries and bonuses. The president was noticeably silent. Didn't the president rail over the AIG bonuses and give approval to the SEIU pickets at the homes of AIG's executives? Didn't the president appoint a wage czar to approve the salaries at the car companies? Something about protecting the taxpayer from the greed of corporate executives? So where was the president's outrage over the million dollar bonuses at Freddie and Fannie? As one of the committee members pointed out it was not just the bonuses but also the inflated salaries of the executives. "How many corporate general counsel's are paid $2 million?" one congressman asked. Indeed. How many? Of course Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have always been known to pay big salaries and bonuses. Where was the outrage when Franklin Raines took home more than $90 million during his tenure? Regardless, Fannie and Freddie have difficult jobs but not that difficult.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com