I think Rahm should be fired, not American CEOs. I think dirty, filthy politicians should be fired. Does Hussein hang with anyone who is not dirty and corrupt?
Obama - more like Capone than Lincoln. The Chicago Mob is running the not -so- clean White House.
Rahm Emanuel's profitable stint at mortgage giant Short Freddie Mac stay made him at least $320,000 Chicago Tribune (hat tip Hal)
Before its portfolio of bad loans helped trigger the current housing crisis, mortgage giant Freddie Mac was the focus of a major accounting scandal that led to a management shake-up, huge fines and scalding condemnation of passive directors by a top federal regulator.
One of those allegedly asleep-at-the-switch board members was Chicago's Rahm Emanuel—now chief of staff to President Barack Obama—who made at least $320,000 for a 14-month stint at Freddie Mac that required little effort.
As gatekeeper to Obama, Emanuel now plays a critical role in addressing the nation's mortgage woes and fulfilling the administration's pledge to impose responsibility on the financial world.
Emanuel's Freddie Mac involvement has been a prominent point on his political résumé, and his healthy payday from the firm has been no secret either. What is less known, however, is how little he apparently did for his money and how he benefited from the kind of cozy ties between Washington and Wall Street that have fueled the nation's current economic mess.
Though just 49, Emanuel is a veteran Democratic strategist and fundraiser who served three terms in the U.S. House after helping elect Mayor Richard Daley and former President Bill Clinton. The Freddie Mac money was a small piece of the $16 million he made in a three-year interlude as an investment banker a decade ago.
In business as in politics, Emanuel has cultivated an aggressive, take-charge reputation that made him rich and propelled his rise to the front of the national stage. But buried deep in corporate and government documents on the Freddie Mac scandal is a little-known and very different story involving Emanuel.
He was named to the Freddie Mac board in February 2000 by Clinton, whom Emanuel had served as White House political director and vocal defender during the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals.
The board met no more than six times a year. Unlike most fellow directors, Emanuel was not assigned to any of the board's working committees, according to company proxy statements. Immediately upon joining the board, Emanuel and other new directors qualified for $380,000 in stock and options plus a $20,000 annual fee, records indicate.
On Emanuel's watch, the board was told by executives of a plan to use accounting tricks to mislead shareholders about outsize profits the government-chartered firm was then reaping from risky investments. The goal was to push earnings onto the books in future years, ensuring that Freddie Mac would appear profitable on paper for years to come and helping maximize annual bonuses for company brass.
The accounting scandal wasn't the only one that brewed during Emanuel's tenure.
During his brief time on the board, the company hatched a plan to enhance its political muscle. That scheme, also reviewed by the board, led to a record $3.8 million fine from the Federal Election Commission for illegally using corporate resources to host fundraisers for politicians. Emanuel was the beneficiary of one of those parties after he left the board and ran in 2002 for a seat in Congress from the North Side of Chicago.
The board was throttled for its acquiescence to the accounting manipulation in a 2003 report by Armando Falcon Jr., head of a federal oversight agency for Freddie Mac. The scandal forced Freddie Mac to restate $5 billion in earnings and pay $585 million in fines and legal settlements. It also foreshadowed even harder times at the firm.
And then there's this:
From the Washington Examiner:
One of Emanuel’s two biggest deals never would have happened without government pressure. When telecom giant SBC bought fellow telecom company Ameritech, SBC executives intended to hold onto Ameritech’s home-security company SecurityLink.
But Bill Clinton’s Federal Communications Commission insisted that federal law required SBC to sell the security company. Clinton’s old right-hand man, Emanuel, happened to be working on behalf of a venture capital firm called GTCR Golder Rauner that wanted to buy SecurityLink from SBC. The government pressure helped Emanuel get his clients a good deal, as the Tribune tells the story:
“Under a regulatory deadline to divest itself of SecurityLink, SBC financed all but $100 million of GTCR’s $479 million purchase of the firm. Less than six months later, GTCR resold the company for $1 billion, earning a quick $500 million on its investment.”
UPDATE: Tracy sent us this bit of thuggery:
When Lyman reads a Washington Post profile of him which tells how he sent a congressman a rotting fish in the post, he asks his assistant, Donna, if she was the source. In fact, it was Mr Emanuel – who reportedly once sent a pollster he had fallen out with the same gift – as a warning never to cross him again.
It is not the only episode in Mr Emanuel’s history which reads like a scene from a gangster movie.
At a dinner to celebrate Bill Clinton’s first presidential victory – Mr Emanuel was his chief fundraiser – he began to reel off the names of those who had 'crossed' him. He grabbed a steak knife and began plunging it into the table shouting “Dead! Dead! Dead!” after each name.
“When he was done the table looked like a lunar landscape,” a witness relates. “It was like something out of The Godfather. But that’s Rahm for you.”
Mr Emmanuel became infamous for his cutting manner during the Clinton years, even towards the world’s most powerful leaders.
In 1998, when Tony Blair visited the White House at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Prime Minister and Mr Clinton scheduled a public appearance. As he was preparing to walk out, Mr Emanuel cautioned Mr Blair : “This is important. Don’t f*** it up.”