Friday, September 19, 2008

Fannie Mae: Obama's Johnson, McCain's Duberstein!

The man who helped John McCain run for President in 2000 has a storied role as Fannie Mae board member from 1998 to 2007. Ken Duberstein advised John from near and afar through his various Presidential runs. Most recently he was on Meet the Press, speculating on "Modest Change" McCain's VP selection process.

How times change, now that John wants to aggressively upend special interests in Washington. It seems McCain passed on Duberstein's VP advice for "that person can step in in a moment's notice in case of emergency and could be our president." Sarah Palin needs training, alot of it.

In furthering McCain's special interest thread, today John cited two Fannie Mae executives, Franklin Raines and James Johnson, and their association with Barack Obama. Of course, McCain left out his ties to Kenneth Duberstein, a governing board member when each man left the helm of Fannie.

Ken's firm made $1,875,000 from Fannie over a five year period 2002-2006. The Duberstein group advised the company on regulatory matters, effectively keeping the wolves at bay. But what else did Kenneth do in his role as board member, other than approving Fannie's strategic direction, endorsing accounting policies and acting on the annual audited financial report?

Most notably, Duberstein served on the Executive Committee and Chaired the Assets & Liabilities Policy Committee. Here's where Ken's role becomes integral, given Fannie Mae's then huge accounting problems and today's failure, requiring hundreds of billions in government support. The 2004 Definitive Proxy statement describes this important board committee:

The Assets and Liabilities Policy Committee, which assists the Board in its oversight of management’s interest rate risk, credit risk, and capital management activities by:

1. developing an in-depth and specialized knowledge on matters relating to assets and liabilities management; and

2. reviewing management’s policy proposals and performance, and making recommendations and reports to the Board, on matters relating to Fannie Mae’s assets and liabilities. In this capacity, the Assets and Liabilities Policy Committee, among other things, reviews: credit and interest rate risk management policies and performance; investment guidelines for the liquid investment portfolio and management’s compliance with those guidelines; the use of derivative contracts; and dividend payments

Not only did McCain's friend make over $1,875,000 consulting with Fannie on regulatory matters, for years Ken Duberstein approved the risky management moves that eventually sent the company under. Be careful who you cite, Mr. McCain. The red team helped create the present day monster...Duberstein was in charge of President George Bush's transition into the White House!