Newt Gingrich Paid $300,000 By Freddie Mac To Court Republicans
Newt Gingrich was hired to promote the public/private structure of Freddie Mac to stop the conservative effort to dismantle the agencies.
Gingrich’s role as a consultant for Freddie Mac was raised in the debate as Republicans, including House Financial Services Committee Vice Chairman Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican, are criticizing the $181 billion in taxpayer funds the company and its sister firm, Fannie Mae, have received since they were seized by the U.S. government in September 2008.
Gingrich has been critical of the Fannie/Freddie business model, and says he told them their business model was unrealistic.
“I offered them advice on precisely what they didn’t do,” he said. “My advice as a historian, when they walked in and said to me, ‘We are now making loans to people who have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, but that’s what the government wants us to do.’ As I said to them at the time, this is a bubble. This is insane. This is impossible.”
If Gingrich concluded that the company’s business model was at risk and that the housing market was a “bubble,” as he said during the debate, he didn’t share those concerns with Richard Syron, Freddie Mac’s chief executive officer at the time, a person familiar with the company’s internal discussions said.