With the federal government poised to rescue teetering mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, critics of the companies are having their “I told you so” moment.
As NPR reports today, those critics point to Freddie’s and Fannie’s political connections and lobbying power as the reason they haven’t been more tightly regulated. CIR’s Daniella De Franco and I spotlight some of the big names associated with the mortgage companies, from McCain mega-fundraiser Wayne Berman to Democratic operative Harold Ickes.
How did Fannie and Freddie build such an arsenal? Well, they hired some important people. And then there were the presidential appointments to their boards. This from a 2003 Washington Post story:
During a chat at the White House in 1994, retiring Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.) recalls President Bill Clinton saying, “You’ve been a great friend, Dennis, what can I do for you?”
“I told him I wanted to be on the board of Freddie Mac or Fannie Mac,” DeConcini said in an interview last week. A short time later, Clinton granted the wish, naming the senator to the board of McLean-based Freddie Mac, where DeConcini served for five years and earned tens of thousands of dollars in cash, stock and stock options.