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Fannie and Freddie to Pay $210 Million in Bonuses

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are planning to pay $210 million in retention bonuses to 7,600 employees over 18 months, their regulator said today.

In a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the Federal Housing Finance Agency said $51 million in payouts were given to employees in late 2008 and the rest will come this and next year.

Grassley and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) expressed concern recently that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are under government control and have received over $50 billion in taxpayer dollars, are paying bonuses. In an earlier letter to Frank, FHFA said about 3,500 employees at Fannie were getting an average payment of $32,000 and 4,000 employees at Freddie were getting an average of $24,000.

The maximum bonus for any employee will be $1.5 million, the regulator said. Freddie’s bonuses are going to 80 percent of employees while Fannie’s are going to 61 percent of employees.

Ninety-two Freddie employees will receive $100,000 or more in 2009 and 121 employees will get bonuses of $100,000 or more.

FHFA declined to name the recipients. At Fannie, chief operating officer Michael Williams is in line for a $1.3 million bonus, according to disclosures. Deputy chief financial officer David Hisey is slated for $1.1 million, while executive vice presidents Thomas Lund, responsible for the mortgage business, and Kenneth Bacon, responsible for housing and community development, are each in line for $1 million.

Freddie hasn’t disclosed its best compensated officials yet.

-- Zachary A. Goldfarb

By Ylan Mui  |  April 3, 2009; 11:19 AM ET
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