Regulators Eye Million-Dollar Paydays AtFannie Mae

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WASHINGTON - (12/27/04) -- Regulators and lawmakers said lastweek they plan to review closely the multi-million dollar bonusespaid top executives at Fannie Mae over the past three years, inlight of new revelations the company may have fudged the books inorder to qualify those executives for the generous paydays. TheOffice of Federal Housing and Enterprise Oversight, which broughtthe accounting malfeasance at the secondary mortgage market giantto light, said it will be looking especially at the severancepackages provided departing CEO Franklin Raines and Chief FinancialOfficer Timothy Howard, who were cashiered last week after theSecurities and Exchange Commission supported the regulator'sfindings. And Rep. Richard Baker, the Louisiana Republican who hasbeen leading the effort to tighten oversight over the Fannie Maeand Freddie Mac, said he is concerned that current law does notallow regulators to force Raines and Howard and other topexecutives to return what his staff estimates to have been $245million in bonuses, much of it based on the company's financialperformance regulators now say was misrepresented. Baker said hewould like to craft legislation that would allow regulators torescind bonuses awarded based on faulty accounting.

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