Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
Advertise:   ads@blueearthmarketing.com   712.224.5420

Opinion
Mark Trahant: What went wrong at Fannie Mae?


"The answer is 6.46.

"You must have 6.46 branded in your brains. You must be able to say it in your sleep, you must be able to recite it forwards and backwards, you must have a raging fire in your belly that burns away all doubts, you must live, breathe and dream 6.46, you must be obsessed by 6.46," a corporate officer told his colleagues in the year 2000.

This was no ordinary company. It was Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored private company that helps banks finance mortgages, and the company vice president was not a cheerleader or a sales manager but the senior vice president in charge of internal audits.

"That tone at the top permeated all levels of Fannie Mae, and the $6.46, the Earnings Per Share goal, became the corporate mantra -- everything else was secondary to hitting the target," says a May 2006 special examination by regulators at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Even Fannie Mae's auditor "fell under its spell.""

Get the Story:
What went wrong at Fannie Mae? Answer is 6.46 (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 6/4)

More Mark Trahant:
Mark Trahant: A hip, cool place in Washington DC (5/29)
Mark Trahant: Border fence a bad idea for U.S. (5/22)
Mark Trahant: It's time for U.S. and Iran to talk (5/15)
Mark Trahant: High gas prices a wake-up call to America (5/8)
Mark Trahant: Stark choices define American politics (5/1)
Mark Trahant: Hope for the best, plan for the worst (4/24)
Trahant: We should decide how our taxes are spent (4/17)
Mark Trahant: Entering the immigration debate (4/3)
Mark Trahant: America is a blending of cultures (3/27)
Mark Trahant: Unsaid debates dominate agenda (3/20)
Mark Trahant: Bush and human rights in Pakistan (3/13)
Mark Trahant: Hank Adams, Indian visionary (3/6)
Mark Trahant: Health care spending on the rise (2/27)
Mark Trahant: Future taxpayers will cough up dough (2/13)
Mark Trahant: Sooner or later, America will go broke (2/6)
Mark Trahant: Bush will tell us everything is great (1/30)
Mark Trahant: Abramoff turning into blame the Indians (1/23)
Mark Trahant: Cultural changes come, some slowly (1/9)
Mark Trahant: Starting new year off with correction (1/4)
Mark Trahant: How about a coin for Vine Deloria? (12/19)
Mark Trahant: The really great state of the economy (12/12)
Mark Trahant: America's numbers don't add up (12/5)
Mark Trahant: Few writers as powerful as Deloria (11/21)
Mark Trahant: Media sometimes isn't fair (11/14)
Mark Trahant: No one wants to talk about immigration (11/7)
Mark Trahant: The ultimate power of the Fed (10/31)
Mark Trahant: Is there no trust in the government? (10/24)
Mark Trahant: The next pick for Federal Reserve job (10/10)
Mark Trahant: I was wrong about voting by mail (9/26)
Mark Trahant: Rebuilding New Orleans, a unique city (9/19)
Mark Trahant: Katrina testing limits of charity (9/12)
Mark Trahant: Democracy an unfinished experiment (08/29)
Mark Trahant: You write the news, you pick it (8/15)
Mark Trahant: Tribal stories don't matter to science (8/8)
Mark Trahant: Congress focuses on real issues (8/1)
Mark Trahant: Judicial debate conceals big issue (7/25)
Mark Trahant: Wasting time at work can be productive (7/18)
Mark Trahant: Appoint Indian to U.S. Supreme Court (7/11)
Mark Trahant: Readers offer junk mail solutions (06/20)
Mark Trahant: Junk mail invades home, office (6/13)
Mark Trahant: Social Security needs new compact (6/6)
Mark Trahant: Readers upset over military cartoon (5/30)
Mark Trahant: Healing the world with totem poles (5/23)
Mark Trahant: We're all as young as we feel (5/16)
Mark Trahant: Social Security debate masks failures (5/9)
Mark Trahant: Public sees bias in the news media (5/2)
Mark Trahant: Few salmon left for tribal ceremonies (4/25)
Mark Trahant: Tax system unfair and complicated (4/18)
Mark Trahant: Our nation must pay its own tax bill (4/11)
Mark Trahant: Latest numbers on economy scare me (4/4)
Mark Trahant: C-SPAN just as important today (3/28)
Mark Trahant: Does democracy mean supporting Bush? (3/21)
Mark Trahant: Academic freedom for Churchill too? (03/07)
Mark Trahant: Journalism more interactive than before (2/28)
Mark Trahant: Social Security debate all about 'me' (2/21)
Mark Trahant: Social Security push ignores big issue (2/14)
Mark Trahant: Human beings only react during crisis (2/7)
Mark Trahant: Election tales usually one-sided (1/31)
Trahant: Public school system not good enough (01/24)
Mark Trahant: Three cheers for the First Amendment (01/10)
Mark Trahant: Did my vote count? Did yours? (12/20)
Mark Trahant: Bush plan leaves no room for salmon (12/13)
Mark Trahant: Two friendly faces on the news (11/29)
Mark Trahant: Mainstream media doesn't matter (11/22)
Mark Trahant: Do political endorsements matter? (11/8)
Mark Trahant: So what happens after the election? (11/1)
Mark Trahant: Vote early and avoid campaign sleaze (10/25)
Mark Trahant: Congress should abide by laws too (10/18)
Mark Trahant: Election changing as we speak (10/11)
Mark Trahant: NMAI must change the story (09/27)
Mark Trahant: Media's view of elections should change (09/20)
Mark Trahant: What happened to Pakistan? bin Laden? (09/13)
Mark Trahant: Payroll tax not fair to all Americans (8/23)
Mark Trahant: Bush's answer was slightly better (8/9)
Audio: Bush explains meaning of tribal sovereignty (8/6)
Mark Trahant: The one that didn't get away (08/02)
Mark Trahant: Living in a world of easy credit (7/26)
Mark Trahant: Congress still stealing Indian land (07/12)
Mark Trahant: Raising the next peace generation (7/6)
Mark Trahant: How far does 'terrorist' definition go? (6/28)
Mark Trahant: The big five-oh a good time to reflect (6/21)
Mark Trahant: Ordinary Reagan was extraordinary (06/14)
Mark Trahant: Indian girls team had game back in 1900s (06/07)
Mark Trahant: Voice mail filled with views on Iraqi war (05/17)
Mark Trahant: A familiar story of cultural change (03/22)
Mark Trahant: One Indian in Senate is wrong number (03/08)
Mark Trahant: Division marked another major war too (2/23)
Mark Trahant: We're still fighting the Cold War (01/26)
Trahant: Selling democracy to Indian Country (11/17)
Trahant: Can't trust Uncle Sam with Indian money (11/10)
Mark Trahant: Bush needs to note success and failure (10/20)
Mark Trahant: Technology and the news world (09/29)
Mark Trahant: Preparing for the unthinkable (09/22)
Trahant: When tribes succeed, someone changes rules (09/1)