Fannie Mae Retention Bonuses A-Okay
(Note: the title is sarcastic.)
Flying rather low on the radar, somewhat surprisingly, are the retention bonuses for Fannie Mae.
Fannie Mae, which suffered $59 billion in losses last year, has requested $15 billion in taxpayer assistance and has said it expects to need plenty more.
Chief Operating Officer Michael Williams is in line for a $1.3 million bonus. Deputy Chief Financial Officer David Hisey is slated for $1.1 million, while executive vice presidents Thomas Lund, responsible for the mortgage business, and Kenneth Bacon, responsible for housing and community development, are each in line for $1 million.
I suppose one could argue the amounts involved with Fannie Mae are small, but the counter is that the AIG bonuses are also small, less than a tenth of one percent of the bailout. Oh, and a quick question for the Democrat readers, supposing the special AIG tax goes through how do anticipate the Republicans will use it when they get back in charge of things?
And AIG needs to take a page out of Fannie Mae’s play book on how to sell these bonuses,
When it took over Fannie Mae, the government instituted a retention program. Under the program, employees deemed crucial to the company’s efforts to carry out government housing plans are eligible to receive retention payments, but some may not receive any.
“Many employees have received significant pay reductions, with no bonuses for 2008 performance and all past stock grants are virtually worthless. This retention program is pay for specific efforts underway now to meet national goals,” Federal Housing Finance Agency director James B. Lockhart III said in a statement.
The retention program is pay for specific efforts underway now to meet national goals in accordance with the government efforts to reinvigorate the financial sector. See, now then the President can get behind the bonuses and say it is all part of the Grand Master Plan.
Update: Commenter PD Shaw drew my attention to this article on AIG (which having difficulty load for me). And there is this quote,
The handful of souls who championed the firm’s now-infamous credit-default swaps are, by nearly every account, long since departed. Those left behind to clean up the mess, the majority of whom never lost a dime for AIG, now feel they have been sold out by their Congress and their president.
Guess we can all these people to those Obama has so far thrown under the Bus.
Update II: This take on the WaPo story by emptywheel is amusing at this point,
Yet in the middle of this big sob story about how maligned these poor quants and their secretaries are, they return to the threats they issued in the white paper demanding the bonuses.
“Nobody is going to give it back and then stay,” said one of the firm’s employees. “If they give back the money, then they will walk. And they will walk into the arms of AIG’s counterparties.”
Let’s see, aside from the fact that these guys’ contracts undoubtedly have confidentiality agreements–making such cooperation with counterparties a gross breach of contract–assuming their counterparties actually did anything with this information, they’d all be breaking the law.
Let me see, we’ll void one contract because it upsets emptywheel, but then those people adversely impacted (and upset) have to abide by another contract that emptywheel likes. That’s a mighty consistent position there.
Oh, and what if the confidentiality agreement is part of the same contract with the retention bonus?