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Mitt Romney Blasts Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac’s ‘Failures’ While Profiting From Them

By Pat Garofalo  

"Mitt Romney Blasts Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac’s ‘Failures’ While Profiting From Them"

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The Boston Globe noted today that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has a habit of lambasting the “failures” of government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has been profiting from investments in the two firms:

On his financial disclosure statement filed last month, Romney reported owning between $250,001 and $500,000 in a mutual fund that invests in debt notes of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, among other government entities. Over the previous year, he had reported earning between $15,001 and $50,000 in interest from those investments.

And unlike most of Romney’s financial holdings, which are held in a blind trust that is overseen by a trustee and not known to Romney, this particular investment was among those that would have been known to Romney.

The investment was also not on Romney’s 2007 financial disclosure form. A Romney aide said the investments were made in the latter half of 2007, after he had filed the earlier disclosure form. That was around the time that the scale of the housing crisis was coming into focus.

As Mother Jones’ Andy Kroll noted, this particular fund of Romney’s “also included investments in Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase. If Romney invested in those banks in the second half of 2007, as a campaign aide says he did, then Romney’s investments benefited from the federal bailout of those banks, which received tens of billions of dollars to stay afloat.”

This isn’t the first time that Romney’s investments have run headlong into his political positions. He owns a significant amount of stock in Boeing, and has been vociferously defending the mega-manufacturer against allegations that it engaged in union-busting. But the investments in both the nation’s biggest banks, as well as Fannie and Freddie, are more egregious because they are not in Romney’s blind investment trust, but in an investment vehicle that he knew about.

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