November 08, 2011

Manchin: 'Insulted' at bonuses for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac | The Williamson Daily News

Recently, nearly $13 million in bonus pay was approved for 10 executives at Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, two mortgage lenders that received a government bailout of $141 billion in taxpayer dollars in 2008.

This did not sit well with a group of 60 senators, including Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who have expressed outrage at the news.

“Using taxpayer dollars to give out enormous bonuses at a troubled company just doesn’t make any sense to me,” Manchin said. “And I’m just as furious as the American people that their hard-earned tax dollars paid for extravagant bonuses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

The group of senators, made up of both parties, sent a letter to Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The senators urge the FHFA and Treasury Department to “stop this blatant abuse of taxpayer funds and change their policy for executive compensation,” a release from Manchin’s staff stated.

“At a time when these entities have received nearly $141 billion in taxpayer-provided bailout funding, such excessive compensation seems wildly imprudent,” the letter from the senators read. “Moreover, the full cost of conservatorship remains a moving target.”

The senators wrote that they are “sincerely concerned about the message this sends to millions of American families when the unemployment rate stands at 9 percent and the housing market remains very weak.”

As American families are “tightening their belts” because of the economy, “the federal government must take steps to ensure that the conservatorship is receiving proper oversight,” the senators wrote.

“The wasteful nature of these bonuses, however, is a step in the wrong direction,” the letter stated. “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.”

Manchin said that the FHFA needs to change its policy regarding executive compensation “as quickly as possible.”

He also said the the idea of tax dollars going toward “extravagant executive bonuses” is offensive to American families who “have been unemployed for years, who have lost their homes and whose own benefits are on the chopping block.”

“Personally, I am insulted,” Manchin said.

By:  Chad Abshire