Politico

Was Freddie pressured to toe Obama line?
Politico

Both The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal are reporting that Freddie Mac’s Chief Financial Officer, David Kellermann, who was found dead Wednesday in an apparent suicide, was involved in recent months in a heated dispute with Freddie’s regulator over how to reflect costs of President Obama’s anti-foreclosure program.

Top executives, including Kellermann, were insistent that Freddie Mac inform shareholders of the cost to the company of helping carry out the Obama administration’s housing recovery plan, the two newspapers reported. The Post, citing several unnamed sources, said the regulators « urged the company not to do so. » An unnamed FHFA official who spoke to the Post disputed that, saying, « The regulator did not oppose disclosure but how the information was portrayed in the filing. »

While the Obama administration might not want to have the price tag for its foreclosure efforts look too big, the reason regulators might have pressured Fannie to understate the cost of the program is pretty simple: both Obama and Geithner said publicly that it wouldn’t have a material financial impact on Fannie or Freddie.