Monday, September 8, 2008

Thinking of blaming Bush for Fannie & Freddie? Try again.

OFHEO (Office of Federal Enterprise Oversight) published a scathing report in May, 2006 regarding the state of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Bush administration sought to reform the agencies as it documented a culture focused on hiding the truth while paying its executives hundreds of millions of dollars. The agencies waged total war against reform, seeking to destroy all opposition as they bullied their way into bankruptcy (See for a great read on Fannie's tactics.).

While the agencies stifled all criticism, they engaged in reckless lending policies. No down payment loans given to borrowers with 580 credit scores and 55% debt to income ratios with reduced mortgage insurance premiums. Mortgages were approved for borrowers requiring no verification of income or assets, yet the borrower only had to provide a five percent down payment. Borrowers could even buy TEN properties with only ten percent down on stated income programs (verified assets were required). Mortgages given to borrowers with 540 credit scores. Similar programs were provided to lenders and borrowers which encouraged an "anything goes" culture. However, all good things, if it can be called that, must come to an end and the Fannie Mae party is no exception to this cliche'. See earlier post: Fannie and Freddie's Ticking Time Bomb

The agency chickens have now come home to roost, as the Democrats have put us on the hook for HUNDREDS of billions of dollars, while former Fannie CEO and Clinton Administration official Frank Raines keeps nearly $100 million he received from Fannie Mae.

OFHEO's report stated:
Fannie Mae senior management promoted an image of the Enterprise as one of the lowest-risk financial institutions in the world and as “best in class” in terms of risk management, financial reporting, internal control, and corporate governance. The findings in this report show that risks at Fannie Mae were greatly understated and that the image was false.

During the period covered by this report—1998 to mid-2004—Fannie Mae reported extremely smooth profit growth and hit announced targets for earnings per share precisely each quarter. Those achievements were illusions deliberately and systematically created by the Enterprise’s senior management with the aid of inappropriate accounting and improper earnings management.

By deliberately and intentionally manipulating accounting to hit earnings targets, senior management maximized the bonuses and other executive compensation they received, at the expense of shareholders. Earnings management made a significant contribution to the compensation of Fannie Mae Chairman and CEO Franklin Raines, which totaled over $90 million from 1998 through 2003...

A combination of factors led Fannie Mae senior management, through their actions and
inactions, to commit or tolerate a wide variety of unsafe and unsound practices and conditions.
Those factors included the Enterprise’s enormous financial resources and political influence, the expectation that senior management could write the rules that applied to Fannie Mae, financial rewards tied to a measure of profits that management could easily manipulate, and the relative disinterest of senior executives in adhering to standards of prudent business operations....

The image of Fannie Mae communicated by Mr. Raines and his inner circle and
promoted by the Enterprise’s corporate culture was false. In the words of one current member of Fannie Mae’s Board of Directors, the picture of the Enterprise as a “best-in-class” financial institution was a “façade.” To maintain that façade, senior executives worked strenuously to hide Fannie Mae’s operational deficiencies and significant risk exposures from outside observers—the Board of Directors, its external auditor, OFHEO, the Congress, and the public. ...

The existence of a federal agency with the ability to regulate the Enterprise represented a
direct challenge to senior management.
To deal with that challenge, Fannie Mae took the
extreme position that OFHEO simply had little authority over the Enterprise, while Fannie Mae’s lobbyists worked to insure that the agency was poorly funded and its budget remained subject to approval in the annual appropriations process. The goal of senior management was
straightforward: to force OFHEO to rely on the Enterprise for information and expertise to such a degree that Fannie Mae would essentially be regulated only by itself

Finally, in a statement quoted almost directly from Bernie Ebbers and Worldcom, OFHEO reports: "The message from Mr. Raines was clear: EPS results mattered, not how they were

Enjoy the trillion-dollar bailout while you worry about lipstick politics.

Frank Raines's politican donations:


s_baghaii said...

I know this is your blog, and you can do what you want to, but have you ever considered using strong tags instead of yellow for emphasis. The yellow makes the RSS hard to read.

Kingfish said...


Anonymous said...

I really like the yellow.

Anonymous said...

Do you think the Jackson Fraud Press will comment on this?

Top Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008
1) Chris Dodd $133,900
2) John Kerry $111,000
3) Barack Obama $105,849
4) Hillary Clinton $75,550

Kingfish said...

No but they will post how McCain received $64,000 from Bank of America. If McCain is smart, he'll return it.

Anonymous said...

I gave $4.00 to Donna Ladd. Can I have it back?

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS