The PJ Tatler

Great News: Fannie and Freddie Execs Got Massive Bonuses

Your money, but probably not your choice.

Mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac received the biggest federal bailout of the financial crisis. And nearly $100 million of those tax dollars went to lucrative pay packages for top executives, filings show.

The top five executives at Fannie Mae received $33.3 million in 2009 and 2010, while the top five at Freddie Mac received $28.1 million. And each company has set pay targets of as much as $17 million for its top managers for 2011.

That’s a total of $95.4 million, which will essentially be coming from taxpayers, who have been keeping the mortgage finance giants alive with regular quarterly cash infusions since the Federal Home Finance Agency (FHFA) took control of the companies in September 2008.

Fannie CEO Michael Williams and Freddie CEO Charles Halderman, each received about $5.5 million in pay for last year, and they could receive more when their final deferred compensation for 2010 is set. All the executives receive a significant portion of their pay in the year or years after they earn it.

The CEOs’ pay targets for 2011 are about $6 million a piece, though Halderman might not get much of that money since he’s announced plans to leave Freddie sometime in 2012. He must still be at the company in order to receive the deferred compensation. His base pay for 2011 is $900,000, with most of the rest of his compensation coming in deferred payments.