GSEs To Dish Out $210M In Retention Bonuses

In a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James B. Lockhart said the government-sponsored enterprises will likely have paid about $210 million in retention bonuses by early 2010, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The $210 million covers bonuses paid to 7,600 employees over the course of 18 months. That time period began late last year, and $51 million of the total has already been paid out, Lockhart wrote.

The maximum retention bonus for a single executive is $1.5 million, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed a copy of Lockhart's letter.

Freddie Mac is dishing out retention bonuses to 4,057 employees; Fannie Mae's program will see 3,545 employees receive bonuses.

Fannie Mae's chief operating officer, Michael Williams, is set to receive a total of $1.3 million over the 18-month period. Executive Vice President Hisley is expected to receive $1.1 million, and Thomas Lund and Kenneth Bacon – also executive vice presidents – are set to receive $1 million each.

The bonus amounts for Freddie Mac's highest-paid executives have not been specified.

Sen. Barney Frank, D-Mass., last month criticized the GSE bonuses, but Lockhart has maintained that the bonuses are necessary, as the administration's Making Home Affordable program expands the GSEs' roles in market recovery.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal


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