Thursday, October 16, 2008

Who is Franklin Raines? Who is Jim Johnson?

The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Meltdown - Who is Franklin Raines? Who is Jim Johnson?

Here is a piece about Franklin Raines, an Obama financial adviser.

Franklin Raines, CEO of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) from 1999-2004, is the individual most responsible for the subprime mortgage crisis. It was on Mr. Raines’ watch that Fannie Mae went bankrupt.

He was accused of manipulating earnings statements so he could be paid bonuses to which he was not entitled.
In July, Mr. Raines was interviewed by Anita Huslin, a business reporter for the Washington Post.

“In the four years since he stepped down as Fannie Mae’s chief executive under the shadow of a $6.3 billion accounting scandal, Franklin D. Raines has been quietly constructing a new life for himself,” Ms. Huslin’s story began. “He has shaved eight points off his golf handicap, taken a corner office in Steve Case’s D.C. conglomeration of finance, entertainment and health care companies and, more recently, taken calls from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing matters.”

But, there are others like Jim Johnson, former Fannie Mae Chairman who had to resign as head of Obama’s Vice Presidential search team.

More on Jim Johnson is here.

Jim Johnson Is The Former CEO Of Fannie Mae. (David A. Vise, “Fannie Mae Lobbies Hard To Protect Its Tax Break,” The Washington Post, 1/16/95)

“Jim Johnson, The Former Chairman Of Fannie Mae Who Was One Of Three Advisors Tapped By Democrat Barack Obama To Vet Vice Presidential Candidates, Resigned Today After Questions Were Raised About Favoritism He May Have Received From Countrywide Financial Corp.” (Johanna Neuman, “Barack Obama Advisor Jim Johnson Quits Under Fire,” Los Angeles Times, 6/12/08)

Johnson Remains A Bundler For Obama’s Presidential Campaign And Has Committed To Raising $100,000 To $200,000. (Obama For America Website,, Accessed 9/19/08)

Johnson Earned Large Bonuses At Fannie Mae Due To An Accounting Manipulation:

In 1998, Fannie Mae’s Earnings Were Manipulated, Which Resulted In “Maximum Payouts” To Executives Including CEO Jim Johnson. “As CEO of Fannie Mae, Johnson, a former chief of staff to Vice President Walter F. Mondale and chairman of the board of the Kennedy Center, was the beneficiary of accounting in which Fannie Mae’s earnings were manipulated so that executives could earn larger bonuses. The accounting manipulation for 1998 resulted in the maximum payouts to Fannie Mae’s senior executives — $1.9 million in Johnson’s case — when the company’s performance that year would have otherwise resulted in no bonuses at all, according to reports in 2004 and 2006 by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.” (Jonathan Weisman and David S. Hilzenrath, “Obama’s Choice Of Insider Draws Fire,” The Washington Post, 6/11/08)

Johnson Engineered An Effort To Lobby Politicians So That Fannie Mae Would Not Have To Pay Local Taxes To Washington, D.C.:

While Johnson Was CEO, Fannie Mae Did Not Have To Pay Washington D.C. Taxes Which Cost The City Hundreds Of Millions Per Year. “While Wall Street benefits from Fannie Mae’s prosperity, the District government does not. Fannie Mae, the biggest, most profitable company in Washington, is exempt from local income taxes. That exemption costs the cash-strapped D.C. government hundreds of millions of dollars a year.” (David A. Vise, “The Financial Giant That’s In Our Midst,” The Washington Post, 1/15/95)

“If Fannie Mae Were Required To Pay Taxes, It Would Wipe Out The District’s Budget Deficit.” (David A. Vise, “The Financial Giant That’s In Our Midst,” The Washington Post, 1/15/95)

Before Heading Fannie Mae, Johnson Was A Registered Foreign Agent For Lehman Brothers:

In The 1980s, Johnson Worked For Shearson Lehman Brothers. “In the early 1980s Johnson had already started his own Washington consulting company, Public Strategies, with his Carter administration colleague Richard Holbrooke. And now he followed Holbrooke to Wall Street as an investment banker at Shearson Lehman Brothers.” (Lloyd Grove, “The Big Chair,” The Washington Post, 3/27/98)

But, not a word on NBC about either of these two men with direct ties into the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, the financial crisis, the economic bailout plan being considered by Congress and Barack Obama. Not one word.

NBC News in the tank for Obama - all of the time.

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