Thursday, March 26, 2009

White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel's bonuses at Freddie Mac

While AIG executives are being excoriated by Obama for accepting bonuses, his own chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, was lavishly compensated for doing almost no work as a politically appointed director of failed mortgage giant Freddie Mac during the Clinton administration.

So far, he's made no effort to return the $320,000 he picked up for attending a few meetings during which "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."

During his tenure, "he was also informed that the company hatched a plan ... for illegally using corporate resources to host fundraisers for politicians. Emanuel was the beneficiary of one of those parties after he left the board and ran in 2002 for a seat in Congress from the North Side of Chicago."

Fannie and Freddie are perfect examples of the sort of corruption that follows from government sponsored commercial organizations. Both Fannie and Freddie have been Democratic financial playgrounds for decades, where on-the-make politicians could pick up huge rewards for neglecting their responsibilities. They doled out campaign cash to favored pols including Obama himself, who as a junior senator somehow received more cash than anyone except banking chairman Chris Dodd.

Has Obama given campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie back yet? Does the term "selective outrage" come to mind?

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