Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Newt Gingrich and Freddie Mac

Newt Gingrich, Source: Unknown
Newt Gingrich is making new headlines today as his relationship and salary from Freddie Mac become more public. Gingrich was a "historian" and consultant to questionable mortgage giant and paid to the tune of a monthly retainer of $25,000 to $30,000 (a total of $1.6 million) between May 1999 until 2008. Freddie Mac says Gingrich “did not do any lobbying” and only provided counsel on public policy issues to FM's chief lobbyist Mitchell Delk.
Gingrich says that he warned that the subprime mortgage practices that Freddie and its counterpart, Fannie, were helping support were leading to a housing bubble.(Gingrich did not work for Fannie at any time.) He said that he favored expanding housing in a responsible way, and not through the methods Fannie and Freddie took throughout the 2000s.
The Bloomberg story points out that in the Nov 9 CNBC debate, Gingrich had said he only made about $300,000 from his relationship with Freddie. He has since asked his staff to make his record public and find out for him. Gingrich's initial contract with Freddie Mac started in 1999, shortly after he resigned both the Speakership and his seat in Congress.
Liberals and Gingrich antagonists immediately began complaining on Twitter about the relationship. Apparently it is okay that Rahm Emanuel was on the Freddie board of directors during the scandal, but it isn't okay that Gingrich consulted them!

Source: Talking Points Memo "Housing 'Historian' Gingrich Paid 1.6M by Freddie Mac"
MSNBC: Gingrich Can't Say How Much He Netted from Freddie Consulting

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