Romney and Fannie and Freddie: Oh My!

Mitt Romney.<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mittromney/6069980831/in/photostream">Mitt Romney</a>/Flickr

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney likes to slam Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-run housing giants that he claims triggered the recent housing meltdown. (They didn’t.) But what Romney isn’t letting on, the Boston Globe reports, is that at the same time he’s ripped Fannie and Freddie, he has also raked in cash from personal investments in the two companies, which the federal government took over in September 2008.

Here’s the Globe:

On his financial disclosure statement filed last month, Romney reported owning between $250,001 and $500,000 in a mutual fund that invests in debt notes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, among other government entities. Over the previous year, he had reported earning between $15,001 and $50,000 in interest from those investments.

And unlike most of Romney’s financial holdings, which are held in a blind trust that is overseen by a trustee and not known to Romney, this particular investment was among those that would have been known to Romney.

The investment was also not on Romney’s 2007 financial disclosure form. A Romney aide said the investments were made in the latter half of 2007, after he had filed the earlier disclosure form. That was around the time that the scale of the housing crisis was coming into focus.

The campaign declined to comment on the record. The Romney aide said the investment was made by Romney’s charitable trust.

A spokesman for American Bridge, the liberal opposition research group that pulled together Romney’s financial records, said the candidate’s Fannie and Freddie investments show that Romney’s “hypocrisy knows no limits.”

The Globe also notes that the fund containing Romney’s Fannie and Freddie funds also included investments in Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase. If Romney invested in those banks in the second half of 2007, as a campaign aide says he did, then Romney’s investments benefited from the federal bailout of those banks, which received tens of billions of dollars to stay afloat.

More Mother Jones reporting on Dark Money

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate