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Advice to Disregard

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I was astounded to see the July 16 op-ed by former Fannie Mae chief executive Franklin D. Raines, "The Help Fannie and Freddie Need."

Mr. Raines stepped down as Fannie Mae's CEO after a "$6.3 billion accounting scandal" [Business, May 19] that rivaled Enron's; in a settlement with the government, he and other Fannie Mae executives agreed to pay fines and forgo millions in stock, pension and other benefits [front page, April 19]. Fannie Mae, a government-backed mortgage giant, is so shaky that a federal bailout is planned.

Yet The Post gave Mr. Raines a soapbox to make the same arguments against reforming Fannie Mae that he and Fannie's lobbyists have made for years. Mr. Raines, a liberal power broker, derided "ideologues in the Bush administration" who, he said, tried to "undermine" Fannie Mae. Those officials were in truth warning about Fannie Mae's risky practices. We would all be better off if Fannie and Congress had listened to them.

HANS BADER

Counsel

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Washington

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