The top six executives of the two mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, received a combined total of $35.4 million during 2009 and 2010. According to a newly issued report by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the CEOs of both companies alone were paid a shocking $17 million over the past two years.
This level of executive compensation is simply unconscionable at a time of economic recession, financial bailouts, and housing price declines. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been bailed out by taxpayers for more than $153 billion to date. The total cost of the federal bailout could rise to as high as $363 billion through 2013.
More disturbingly, these payouts come when millions of working families have lost their homes to foreclosure. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac simply have not done enough to modify homeowners’ mortgages to affordable amounts. And some of the mortgage servicers used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac improperly robo-signed foreclosure documents.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were established by our government to help make home ownership more affordable. The top executives of these companies should be paid on the same scale as government regulators, not like Wall Street executives. These payouts show exactly what is wrong with our financial system where corporate greed trumps the public interest.