FHFA Chief Defends $12.79 Million in Fannie, Freddie Bonuses

Have government-sponsored enterprise execs been receiving way too much bonus compensation? Some say yes, following the release of executive compensation information that indicated $12.79 million in bonuses was designated for 10 executives of the firms.

Sixty senators called on the agency earlier this week to address the issue of executive compensation, which they called “wasteful” in a letter to Federal Housing Finance Administration acting director Edward DeMarco.

Today, DeMarco defended the compensation designation, stating that he would detail his defense in a hearing to take place next week.

“At a time when the country faces persistent unemployment of nine percent or more and has an urgent need to address an enormous budget deficit, I well understand your concern about the possibility of any wasteful spending,” DeMarco wrote in a letter to senators.

“Executive compensation has been the most vexing issue I have faced as Conservator,” he said. “The decisions FHFA faces in overseeing multi-year conservatorships are unprecedented and striking the right balance of limiting pay while attracting and retaining competent executives is a continuing challenge.”

DeMarco will testify before the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on November 15, at which point he said he will explain more fully the compensation packages and concerns regarding them. The House Financial Services Committee will also meet that day to vote on whether Fannie and Freddie employees will be subject to a government pay scale.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac came under government conservatorship in 2008 and since then, have received $169 billion in taxpayer aid.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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