Sunlight Foundation

Freddie Mac records exempt from FOIA

Bob Secter and Andrew Zajac of the Chicago Tribune report that, while researching what went at Freddie Mac during the period White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel served on the board of directors of Freddie Mac, they were unable to get minutes of board meetings and other information:

The Obama administration rejected a Tribune request under the Freedom of Information Act to review Freddie Mac board minutes and correspondence during Emanuel's time as a director. The documents, obtained by Falcon for his investigation, were "commercial information" exempt from disclosure, according to a lawyer for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Freddie Mac executives cooked the books, mismanaged the firm, and ultimately drove it into the ground, costing taxpayers billions of dollars. The "commercial information" exemption is reserved for private companies--Freddie Mac is by no means a private company anymore.

Sector and Zajac did get contemporaries of Emanuel to describe his participation on the company's board:

One of Emanuel's fellow directors at Freddie Mac was Neil Hartigan, the former Illinois attorney general. Hartigan said Emanuel's primary contribution was explaining to others on the board how to play the levers of power.

He was respected on the board for his understanding of "the dynamics of the legislative process and the executive branch at senior levels," Hartigan recalled. "I wouldn't say he was outspoken. What he was, was solid."

Shouldn't that information now be available to the taxpayers who are bailing out the company?

  1. # Obama’s Transparency? Not When it Comes to F

    [...] Freddie Mac records exempt from FOIA Bob Secter and Andrew Zajac of the Chicago Tribune report that, while researching what went at Freddie Mac during the period White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel served on the government sponsored enterprises board of directors, they were unable to get minutes of board meetings and other information: The Obama administration rejected a Tribune request under the Freedom of Information Act to review Freddie Mac board minutes and correspondence during Emanuels time as a director. The documents, obtained by Falcon for his investigation, were commercial information exempt from disclosure, according to a lawyer for the Federal Housing Finance Agency. [...]

  2. # Alex987

    Ck Freddie Mac's website & search "Emanuel"and you find the Boards Proxy Statement (pdf) with compensation data (could not attached hereto)Page 9,2. Directors Appointed by the President of the United States: RAHM EMANUEL Director since February 2000Age 40Mr. Emanuel is a Managing Director of Wasserstein Perella & Co., Inc. (an investment banking rm). Prior to joining the rm, Mr.Emanuel served as the Senior Advisor to the President of the United States for Policy and Strategy in the White House. Before that,Mr. Emanuel was Executive Director of the 1993 Presidential Inaugural Committee and the National Finance Director for the Clinton-Gore 1992 Presidential campaign. Mr. Emanuel also serves on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.(I did not know Ronnie was on the Chicago Merc?)

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