Fannie Mae joins the bonus fun

Where does everyone else sign up to get jobs like this? The bigger the failure, the bigger the bonus.

Government-backed mortgage company Fannie Mae plans to pay retention bonuses of up to $611,000 each to some executives this year even though it reported huge losses, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said Freddie Mac, Fannie’s main rival, also plans to pay retention bonuses, although it did not detail how much.

Citing a recent Fannie Mae securities filing, the Wall Street Journal said Fannie Mae chief operating officer Michael Williams is due to receive cash retention awards of $611,000 this year, in addition to a similar award of $260,000 in 2008. His base salary is $676,000 a year, the paper said.

It said Fannie Mae also plans to pay retention awards this year of $517,000 to executive vice-president David Hisey. Two other executive vice-presidents, Thomas Lund and Kenneth Bacon, would get $470,000 each.

Fannie and Freddie posted combined losses of about $108 billion in 2008 as mortgage defaults grew to record levels, the paper said.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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