Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I wonder if Vince Foster's gun is still in the evidence locker

David Kellerman, the Chief Financial Officer of Freddie Mac, appears to have committed suicide. Here's a quote from a news story about it. The link to the story is below.

"Kellermann, 41, had has been with Freddie Mac for more than 16 years.

He had been named acting chief financial officer in September 2008, taking over after Anthony "Buddy" Piszel resigned. Freddie Mac's CEO David Moffett resigned last month.

Government-controlled Freddie Mac, based in McLean, has been criticized heavily for reckless business practices. Some say those practices contributed to the nation's housing and financial crisis. Freddic Mac owns or guarantees about 13 million home loans.

As CFO, Kellermann was responsible for the company's financial controls, financial reporting and oversight of the company's budget and financial planning."

It's interesting that this guy's predecessor, Anthony "Buddy" Piszel, suddenly started making political contributions when he became CFO of Freddie Mac in 2006.

Maybe, that's not surprising though, because according to his employment agreement that I found on the web (but can't seem to link to) Piszel was given a $7.5 Million signing on bonus for taking that job in 2006. And his employment contract guaranteed him $1.2 Million in severance pay, so that's probably what he got when he resigned last fall after two years there. There's nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that it's a bit more than odd to give a fellow a $7.5 Million signing bonus for a job that pays only $650,000 in salary per year, and it's an interesting coincidence that such a fellow should suddenly become very interested in making big political contributions.

Paul G. George, who signed Piszel's employment contract, made only $7,400 in political contributions in 2008, so I'm guessing he's a relatively little fish at Freddie Mac even though his title is Executive VP of Human Resources. He signed the Piszel contract; but my guess is that it was negotiated by someone else with a whole lot more clout.

Checking around the web I find that David Kellerman doesn't appear to have made many political contributions at all - those I found were just little ones. So he was probably a regular up from the ranks accountant type guy and not a wide awake political hanger on like most of those who have run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the past few years while tens of billions have been squandered.

Accounting can apparently be a dangerous profession, just like lawyering, as Vince Foster learned. You want to be very judicious about opening up musty file drawers when you work in a place that serves as a cash machine for the politically powerful. You never know what you're going to find. You might find yourself falling forward onto the floor after a double tap to the back of the head; or you might find that you're being set up to take a fall and get depressed.

People have killed and been killed over a whole lot less money than the amount of loot that was laundered through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the past couple of decades.

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