Thursday, June 24, 2010

BP's Fannie

A corporate executive noted, we were "engulfed by an unprecedented _______ that was catastrophic and unforeseeable." Is it:

a. decline in home prices (Fannie Mae)
b. oil well blowout (BP)

The answer is a, Fannie Mae.

It turns out BP has a Fannie fractal. BP executives showed their backsides with inane public comments and Congressional non-answers, but there's more. The coterie who brought Fannie Mae to its knees is defending BP. Consider the cast of characters:

Jamie Gorelick
Vice Chairman Fannie Mae from 1997-2003
BPAmerica External Advisory Council
BP lawyer

Ken Duberstein
Fannie Mae board 1998-2007, member of the Assets and Liabilities Policy Committee. That committee was responsible for oversight of management’s interest rate risk, credit risk, and capital management activities.
Regulatory consultant for Fannie, earning over $1.8 million
BP Lobbyist
ConocoPhillips Board member (like Oil Spew Commission co-chair William Reilly)

Warren Rudman
BPAmerica External Advisory Council
Represented Fannie Mae in a $9 billion accounting scandal. From 2001-2004 the firm failed to properly account for derivatives. The Independent Commission report went soft on CEO Franklin Raines.

The Financial Crisis Commission recently interviewed Fannie Mae executives, who defended the firm. Former EVP Robert Levin offered:

Fannie Mae had independent risk-management board committees, a chief risk officer and others that sought to update their economic models, but were unable to "catch up with the reality."

Unable to catch up with reality? How BP'ish of Fannie. Which will be the bigger loss? Fannie and Freddie could cost taxpayers $1 trillion.

For those worried about BP, it has a stable of political insiders working on its behalf.

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