Advice to Disregard

Advice to Disregard

Letter to the Editor in The Washington Post
July 19, 2008
Originally published in The Washington Post

 I was astounded to see the July 16 op-ed by former Fannie Mae chiefexecutive Franklin D. Raines, "The Help Fannie and Freddie Need."

Mr. Raines stepped down as Fannie Mae's CEO after a "$6.3 billionaccounting scandal" [Business, May 19] that rivaled Enron's; in asettlement with the government, he and other Fannie Mae executivesagreed to pay fines and forgo millions in stock, pension and otherbenefits [front page, April 19]. Fannie Mae, a government-backedmortgage giant, is so shaky that a federal bailout is planned.

Yet The Post gave Mr. Raines a soapbox to make the same argumentsagainst reforming Fannie Mae that he and Fannie's lobbyists have madefor years. Mr. Raines, a liberal power broker, derided "ideologues inthe Bush administration" who, he said, tried to "undermine" Fannie Mae.Those officials were in truth warning about Fannie Mae's riskypractices. We would all be better off if Fannie and Congress hadlistened to them.

HANS BADER

Counsel

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Washington