Oct 12 2008

Obama and Fannie/Freddie CEOs: some clarity

Category: economy,election 2008,McCain,Obama,politicsharmonicminer @ 2:48 pm

As reported at SNOPES, a normally reliable fact-checking website, an email has been making the rounds linking Obama to Jim Johnson, Franklin Raines and Tim Howard.  Johnson and Raines are former Fannie Mae CEOs whose tenures were marked by fraudulent accounting practices and the reporting of false profits to pump up earnings reports and get executive bonuses.  Howard was CFO (Chief Financial Officer) during Raines tenure, and was right in the middle of the false accounting and false profits scandals.

Snopes declares that the email is FALSE.  That’s odd, because significant parts of the email are TRUE, but it does have a few incorrect assertions.  Snopes’ practice in such situations is usually to say something is partly true and partly false, and to be very clear on the distinctions regarding which is which.  One can only wonder why that practice was not followed in this report, which was simply declared FALSE at the top, and only a careful reader would discover that much of it was TRUE.

The email first gives the history of the involvement with Fannie Mae of former CEO Jim Johnson, former CEO Franklin Raines, and former CFO Tim Howard.  Even Snopes does not deny the accuracy of this summary.

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