The Potomac Two Step
The Washington metropolitan area is awash in swamp critters, but they are a talented lot … success there depends on one’s ability to perform the Potomac Two Step, which I define as the ability to enrich self while keeping off the opposition’s radar, by which I mean to say out of jail.
Since investigations are often politically motivated, it pays to know how to dance. Raines and Gorelick are excellent dancers; they are but two of a very long list of artful critters and are a couple of examples of just how the dance works.
Franklin Delano Raines (known as Frank) served as Bill Clinton’s OMB director (1996-1998) having previously served at the OMB as an associate director under Jimmy Carter and as the guru in charge of Carter’s Democratic Policy efforts.
In between these two presidents, Raines served as Vice Chairman of the Federal National Mortgage Association (known as Fannie Mae). He returned to FNMA as CEO after Clinton where he earned a surprisingly high salary and bonuses.
The problem is not that a black fellow made good within the confines of our capitalist system, it is that Raines (and others) are political insiders who seem able to secure well-paying jobs within Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) and then milk these positions for all they’re worth.
Speaking of golden parachutes, Raines took an early retirement once he learned that he was the subject of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission involving “accounting irregularities.” What were these irregularities? Oh … well, shifting FNMA losses so that senior executives (such as himself) could earn large bonuses.
In 2006, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight sued Raines to recover the $90 million he received from doctoring company performance records.
At the end of the day, Raines and two others were ordered to pay fines totaling $3-million (fines actually paid by FNMA’s insurance policies), and Raines agreed to give up $1.8-millions of his FNMA stocks (stocks that had no appreciable value) and an additional $5.3 millions in other benefits related to his pension and forgone bonuses … all of which is little more than pocket change to someone paid $90-millions in salaries and bonuses.
Some might call this fraud, but Raines maintained that he broke no laws and today happily resides somewhere in a mostly-white, well-protected neighborhood.
And then there is Jamie S. Gorelick who has had an amazing streak of good luck working for the government as part of the Democratic Party. She served in the Clinton administration (1994-1997), worked as a partner in the mega-sized law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Door (2003- ), and serves as one of the board of directors at Amazon (2012-present).
She also served on British Petroleum’s Advisory Council (2010-) and served on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States —attacks that were partly possible due to decisions Gorelick made as Deputy Attorney General (now disputed, however … presumably because it benefits Gorelick and the Democratic Party to spin her role in opening up the United States to attack).
One interesting aspect of her resume is the fact that despite having no previous training or experience in financial management, Gorelick obtained an appointment to serve as Vice Chair of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), serving there between 1997 (exit from Clinton Administration) to 2003 (serving alongside Franklin Delano Raines when FNMA developed its $10-billion accounting “error.”)
In 1998, Gorelick received an executive bonus of around $780,000; over the next four years, Gorelick received more than $26-million in income and bonuses from FNMA —which isn’t bad considering her lack of training in financial management). Note: who succeeded Gorelick as Deputy Attorney General? Eric Holder, of course.
And the two step continues…….
There are reports that President Obama is considering former Clinton administration official Jamie Gorelick as a possible candidate to be the next chief of the FBI….
Other than that, all is well in the swamp.
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