"[20], Johnson was one of the first outside directors and the longest-serving board member of the investment bank Goldman Sachs. James A. Johnson, Democratic Power Broker, Dies at 76. [11], Johnson chaired the vice presidential selection committee for the unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry. “I wasn’t a very good candidate,” he said. Mr. Johnson was the “anonymous architect of the public-private homeownership drive that almost destroyed the economy in 2008,” Gretchen Morgenson, then a business journalist at The New York Times, and Joshua Rosner, a financial analyst, wrote in “Reckless Endangerment” (2011), which explored the origins of the financial crisis. James A. Johnson (December 24, 1943 – October 18, 2020)[1] was an American businessman, Democratic Party political figure, and chairman and chief executive officer of Fannie Mae. [18][19] In 1991, he was appointed chairman and chief executive officer of Fannie Mae,[15] a position he held until 1998. He was 76. [41] He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Friends of Bilderberg, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Trilateral Commission. [15], An Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) report[22] from September 2004 found that, during Johnson's tenure as CEO, Fannie Mae had improperly deferred $200 million in expenses. He was the campaign chairman for Walter Mondale's unsuccessful 1984 presidential bid and chaired the vice presidential selection committee for the presidential campaign of John Kerry. None became president, but Mr. Johnson maintained a reputation as a pragmatic, shrewd and trusted insider. He was long gone before the subprime mortgage crisis hit, but he was faulted for encouraging practices that contributed to the 2008 housing meltdown. Ben Smith at Politico reported: Former Fannie Mae chairman Jim Johnson was dumped from Obama’s vice presidential search team, but he’s still playing a behind-the-scenes role on the campaign. They sold the company to Shearson Lehman Brothers in 1985, after which Johnson served as a managing director at Lehman Brothers. In June 2008, Conde Nast Portfolio reported that several influential lawmakers and politicians, including Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, and former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson, received favorable mortgage financing from Countrywide by virtue of being "Friends of Angelo". Mr. Frater was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Fannie Mae in March 2019, and prior to that time, he served as Fannie Mae’s Interim Chief Executive Officer beginning in October 2018. Figures.The former Chairman of failed mortgage giant Fannie Mae is advising the community organizer on economics.Didn’t we just go through this? In reviewing the research, Mr. Johnson noticed that Mr. Quayle had frequently compared himself to John F. Kennedy and told Mr. Bentsen and his team to expect him to do so again at the debate. He was also chairman of both the Kennedy Center for the Arts and the Brookings Institution. [31][32] He continued to assist in efforts to recruit former Hillary Clinton supporters to the Obama campaign. Mr. Johnson himself made an estimated $100 million in eight years with the company. Hugh Frater biography. Fannie's relationship status is single. Jim attended the University of Minnesota, where he was elected student body president in his sophomore year. In part as a result of those changes, Fannie’s net income more than tripled from $1.17 billion in 1990 to $3.91 billion in 1999, the year after Mr. Johnson retired. “Senator,” Mr. Bentsen said, “I served with Jack Kennedy. Originally reported as $6–7 million, Johnson actually received approximately $21 million. Today, Freddie Mac reported … in political science in 1966,[7] and a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1968. A member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, the elder Mr. Johnson was elected to the state legislature and became speaker of the House in the late 1950s. [21] Johnson was also the vice chairman of the private banking firm Perseus. Mr. Johnson left in 1990 to join Fannie Mae as vice chairman; he became chairman and chief executive in 1991. Brown previously served as Fannie Mae’s Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Financial Officer from May 2017, when she joined Fannie Mae, to August 2018. [2][4], At the University of Minnesota, Johnson was student body president[5][6] and graduated with a B.A. Jim Johnson, former CEO of Fannie Mae just passed away, here's the obituary: ... Fannie’s net income more than tripled from $1.17 billion in 1990 to $3.91 billion in 1999, the year after Mr. Johnson retired. He underwrote free programming to make the arts more accessible to people who couldn’t afford Kennedy Center tickets. [33] On September 19, 2008, the John McCain campaign released an ad critical of Obama for his connections to Johnson and for appointing him to the vice presidential search committee. A 2006 OFHEO report found that Fannie Mae had substantially under-reported Johnson's compensation. Later, when he was chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, he and his wife at the time, Maxine Isaacs, created and underwrote the Millennium Stage, which provides free concerts and other performances 365 days a year, making the center more accessible to the public. He also shared a piece of advice that he had received while running Fannie Mae: “Never say you’re in the secondary mortgage market; say you’re in the American dream business.”. See Kimberly H Johnson's compensation, career history, education, & memberships. There was speculation that, had Kerry won, Johnson might have been named Kerry's chief of staff, or Secretary of the Treasury. [25], In the 2011 book Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon, authors Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner wrote that Johnson was one of the key figures responsible for the late-2000s financial crisis. Table V-3: Bonuses Paid to Fannie Mae Senior Executives, by Year, 1998-2003 64 Table V-4: Mr. Raines and Mr. Howard Performance Share Plan Awards 77 Table V-5: Fannie Mae EPS Challenge Options Grants Vested January 2004 78 Table V-6: Maximum Annual Incentive Plan (AIP) Bonus Targets and Actual After-Tax Net Income (in billions), Mr. Johnson briefly led the vice-presidential selection process for Senator Barack Obama in 2008, but he stepped down after The Wall Street Journal reported that he had received preferential loan rates from Countrywide Financial, the mortgage company at the center of the subprime lending crisis. He proved an aggressive lobbyist for Fannie Mae — making strategic financial donations to congressional regulators, hiring former public officials from both parties and paying for academic studies that blunted criticism of some of the company’s riskier financial practices. [17], In 1990, Johnson became vice chairman of Fannie Mae, or the Federal National Mortgage Association,[15] a United States government-sponsored enterprise and publicly traded company. In fairness to Mr. Johnson, the vast majority of losses racked up by Fannie were the results of loans bought after he departed. Fannie Mae generated $.5 Billion in cash adjusted for non-cash items. Mr. Mondale said in the interview that his landslide loss of 49 states to President Ronald Reagan was no reflection on Mr. Johnson. “It's clear that investors don't yet fully appreciate the implications of this ruling. Once called “the chairman of the universe,” he led Fannie Mae, the Kennedy Center and the Brookings Institution. As chairman and chief executive, he led Fannie Mae to record profits; its net income more than tripled to $3.91 billion in 1999, the year after he retired. After leading Fannie Mae from 1991 to 1998, Johnson became a board member of the investment bank Goldman Sachs as well as several other companies including Target Corporation and UnitedHealth Group. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. After this adjustment, Fannie Mae showed a cash net … [8] He was later a faculty member at Princeton University. Read Full Summary After earning his master’s degree in public policy at Princeton in 1968, he signed on with Eugene J. McCarthy’s antiwar presidential campaign. Q2 2008, during the media frenzy of the financial crisis, Fannie reported a net loss of $2.3 Billion. [2][3] He was the son of Adeline, a schoolteacher, and Alfred I. Johnson, who was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1941 to 1958, and served as speaker of the house in 1955 and 1957. James A. Johnson in 2004, when he led the vice-presidential search for Senator John Kerry’s campaign for the White House. “He and I both were from Minnesota,” Mr. Mondale recalled in a phone interview, “and we spoke the same language.”. [12][13] In 1976, he was deputy director of Mondale's vice-presidential campaign[12] and was executive assistant to the Vice President during the entire Carter Administration. In the oral history, Mr. Johnson skirted the controversies of his tenure at Fannie Mae. It says that former Fannie chief Jim Johnson, ... long past the point when Johnson was gone. Still, he ran some of the most influential institutions in the nation’s capital. Led by a team of accomplished professionals, Fannie Mae is shaping the future of the housing industry. [1], Johnson died on October 18, 2020, at his home in Washington, D.C., at age 76; he had suffered from a neurological condition in the time leading up to his death. Jim Parrott spent several years in the Obama White House as a senior adviser at the ... Trump re-tweeted an infographic that suggests the net worth sweep was illegal. [23] A 2006 OFHEO report[24] found that Fannie Mae had substantially under-reported Johnson's compensation. This enabled top executives, including Johnson and his successor, Franklin Raines, to receive substantial bonuses in 1998. Not to be outdone, the "Too big to fail" banks piled in, each creating its own brand of mortgage investments, each more toxic than its predecessor. Mr. Johnson addressing the news media in 1983, when he was running former Vice President Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign. Originally reported as $6–7 million, Johnson actually received approximately $21 million. Johnson and Fannie Mae were not alone in loading taxpayers with financial risks. [26] Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote in The New York Times in 2012, "In fairness to Mr. Johnson, the vast majority of losses racked up by Fannie were the results of loans bought after he departed. [2], On June 4, 2008, Barack Obama announced the formation of a three-person committee to vet vice presidential candidates, including Johnson, Caroline Kennedy, and Eric Holder. With funding from the Fannie Mae Foundation, he started the think tank’s Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, now the Metropolitan Policy Program. The only vintages that, as of 2012 incurred net losses were 2005-2008. [39][40] Since 2011, he has been chairman of the Advisory Council for the Stanford University Center on Longevity. [10] From 1973 to 1976, Johnson served as director of public affairs at the Dayton-Hudson Corporation (now Target Corporation). Indeed, throughout his career Mr. Johnson supported racial and economic equality, starting with his participation in the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., while he was in college. When people would ask, he said in a 2016 oral history, he would say, “I do some kind of combination of public policy, politics, government, philanthropy and business.”, At another juncture, he explained his work this way: “I talk.”, In April 2004, as he declined to divulge details of the vice-presidential search he was leading for the soon-to-be Democratic presidential nominee, Senator John Kerry, he told The New York Times, “I would discreetly characterize myself as discreet.”. The blog post cites Jim Parrott, ... that the newly unsealed documents point out that in 2012 just before the Net Worth Sweep began, Fannie Mae ... Remembering Former Fannie Mae CEO James A. Johnson. I knew Jack Kennedy. Kimberly H Johnson is Exec VP/COO at Fannie Mae. From 1999, when the company went public, until May 2018, he served as chairman of the compensation committee at Goldman Sachs. Johnson was born on December 24, 1943, in Benson, Minnesota. Using what Bove calls “aggressive calculations” for net income, he estimates that Fannie Mae’s common shares are worth $1.68, while Freddie Mac’s common shares are worth $1.50. Let’s not forget that, ... “Under Johnson, Fannie Mae led the way in encouraging loose lending practices among the banks whose loans the company bought. And as chairman of the Brookings Institution, the liberal research group, he recruited scholars and writers to study demographic trends in urban areas and the intersection of race and public policy. Fannie Mae produced an automated underwriting system (AUS) tool called Desktop Underwriter (DU) which lenders can use to automatically determine if a loan is conforming; Fannie Mae followed this program up in 2004 with Custom DU, which allows lenders to set custom underwriting rules to handle nonconforming loans as well. [43] He was also named as a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine in 1998. His much-younger housemaid whom he eventually married, Barbara Piasecka, won a nasty lawsuit with his children for the inheritance and died in 2013 with a fortune worth an estimated $3.6 billion. He died on Oct. 18 at his home in Washington. [7], Johnson's first marriage was to Katherine Marshall. He stayed out of presidential politics while at Fannie Mae but returned to it after leaving the company, helping Democratic candidates with their vice-presidential selection, debate negotiations and transition planning. In addition to his son, Mr. Johnson is survived by his wife, Heather Muir Kirby, a managing director at Deutsche Bank; a sister, Marilyn LaMourea; and a grandson. But even though he makes some $5 million a year off the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), of which he is also chairman, he is not a philanthropist with his own money. Former Senator Tom Daschle, a… (I was Fannie Mae’s SVP for government and industry relations when Jim Johnson first served aa Fannie’s Vice Chairman and later its Chairman and CEO.) When Mr. Quayle said onstage that he had as much experience in Congress as Kennedy had when he sought the presidency, Mr. Bentsen pounced, producing one of the most memorable debate moments in American political history. He briefly led the vice-presidential selection process for the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee, Senator Barack Obama. [25] Hugh R. Frater is Chief Executive Officer, Director of the Company. For Fannie Mae, a loan loss reserve would be the expected total losses over its entire 30 year portfolio or an estimate of 30 years of expected losses, and Valuation Losses: an estimated adjustment for current market value independent of intention to liquidate. [11] During this period, Johnson also worked for Senators George McGovern[2] and Walter Mondale. As the volume of mortgages picked up, Jim Johnson and his Fannie Mae realized that in order to keep their spot on this merry-go-round, they would have to loosen their purse strings. A pillar of the Washington establishment, Mr. Johnson would parlay his extensive political skills into a second career in finance and emerge as a major power broker who simultaneously led three prominent institutions: Fannie Mae, the Kennedy Center and the Brookings Institution. –Throughout the 90s and into the early part of this century, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were utilizing their significant lobbying power to gain an ever increasing portion of the overall U.S. mortgage market. After Mr. Mondale’s term ended in 1981 with President Jimmy Carter’s re-election defeat, Mr. Johnson formed Public Strategies, a political consulting firm, with Richard C. Holbrooke, who became a top diplomat in several Democratic administrations. He would go on to work for several other Democratic presidential hopefuls over the next four decades, including Edmund Muskie, George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Al Gore, in addition to Mr. Kerry. Johnson was also a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group and participated in all of their conferences since 1998 except in 1999 and 2004. His son, Alfred, said the cause was complications of a neurological disease. [29] However, Johnson soon became a source of controversy when it was reported that he had received $7 million in cut-rate mortgage loans directly from Angelo Mozilo, the CEO of Countrywide Financial, a company implicated in the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. Tilson said Fannie Mae shares should be up 50% following Mnuchin’s comments. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Holbrooke sold Public Strategies in 1985 to Shearson Lehman Brothers, where they both became managing directors in the investment banking division. Ms. Johnson served in Fannie Mae’s Multifamily business as Senior Vice President for loans, securities, credit pricing and modeling, and as Vice President in our Capital Markets group with responsibility for trading multifamily loans and securities from 2009 to 2013. [15] After selling Public Strategies to Shearson Lehman Brothers in 1985,[16] Johnson was a managing director at Lehman Brothers from 1985 to 1990. [9], In the 1972 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Johnson started as the national campaign coordinator for Senator Edmund Muskie, whose primary campaign came to an end despite early victories in Iowa and Illinois. After leaving Fannie Mae, Mr. Johnson joined the boards of several companies, including Goldman Sachs and Target. The man responsible for the change was James Johnson, a close aide to Vice President Walter Mondale who came to Fannie Mae in 1990. He graduated in 1966 with a degree in political science. James Arthur Johnson was born on Dec. 24, 1943, in Benson, Minn., a small town along the Chippewa River where his Norwegian grandparents had settled. During that time, he was the campaign manager for Walter Mondale's unsuccessful 1984 presidential bid. James A. Johnson (December 24, 1943 – Dec 02, 2020) was an American businessman, Democratic Party political figure, and chairman and chief executive officer of Fannie Mae. Morgenson described him in an NPR interview as "corporate America's founding father of regulation manipulation". [44], Johnson received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Colby College in 1997, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Howard University in 1999, and Doctor of Laws from Skidmore College in 2002[9] and the University of Minnesota in 2006. They added that Mr. Johnson was “especially adept at manipulating lawmakers” and “eviscerating regulators.”. Other family members and associates include Edward Maggett, Knekia Maggett, Edward Maggett, Ian Desilva and Harold Desilva. Mr. Johnson was so well connected and held so many powerful posts that Harold M. Ickes, also a Democratic operative and President Bill Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, told The Washington Post in 1998 that he was “the chairman of the universe.”, Even Mr. Johnson had a hard time describing what he did for a living. Appointed as chief executive of Fannie Mae in 1991, Johnson … In 2008 he briefly served on a team that included former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder (later the attorney general), right, to help Barack Obama choose a running mate. [12] In 1974, Mondale considered a run in the 1976 presidential primaries with an exploratory committee which Johnson helped create. Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Ms. Brown served in a variety of roles at Morgan Stanley from 1999 to April 2017, including as Global Treasurer from 2014 to April 2017 and as Head of Investor Relations from 2010 to 2014. [30] Johnson resigned from the vice presidential search committee on June 11, 2008, stating that he had done nothing wrong but did not want to distract attention from Obama's "historical effort". His mother, Adeline (Rasmussen) Johnson, taught Latin and German at the local high school. The story centers around James Johnson, a Democratic sage with a raft of prestigious connections. [1] They separated in 2010[15][45] and subsequently divorced. Since 2011, he had been chairman of the advisory council of the Stanford Center on Longevity, which seeks to implement technological advances to help older people live healthy and rewarding lives. [15] Together, they had a son (Alfred). He also aided in several presidential runs. After leaving Fannie Mae, Mr. Johnson returned to politics. [1], American businessman and political figure, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1972 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, "James A. Johnson, executive who transformed Fannie Mae into political powerhouse, dies at 76", "Obama turns to trusted political insider Jim Johnson for key campaign role", "Democratic Party Power Broker James A. Johnson Dies at 76", "U. of Minnesota Faces Inquiry Spurred by Radicalism Dispute; Legislature Acts After Professor Stirs Protests by Calling for Diversity of Opinion—Tenure Policy Assayed", "Feared and fearless: A Q&A with journalist Gretchen Morgenson, watchdog of Wall Street and Washington", "Advocates for equity, free speech are 2019 Humphrey Leadership Awardees", "A Quick and Quiet Search to Fill the Democratic Ticket", "Muskie and McCarthy Entered In Illinois Primary on March 21", "Mondale Will Seek $100,000 to Explore Prospects for 1976", "Politics; for a Mondale Friend, One Question Lingers", "President Clinton Names Six Members to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts", "Goldman Sachs Director Johnson Opposed by Buffett-Linked Fund", Report of Findings to Date - Special Examination of Fannie Mae, "High Pay at Fannie Mae For the Well-Connected", Report of the Special Examination of Fannie Mae, "Fannie Mae's Johnson, a 'Pied Piper,' Led U.S. Off Cliff Books", "How 'Reckless' Greed Contributed To Financial Crisis", "There's a new pay czar approving how much Goldman Sachs' top brass gets paid", "Obama Picks Caroline Kennedy, 2 Others for VP Search (Update2)", "Johnson Steps Down from Obama VP Search", "McCain Attacks Obama on Ties to Former Fannie Mae CEOs", "Arts Briefing: Highlights; New Kennedy Center Chairman", "John Thornton to Succeed James A. Johnson as Chairman of the Brookings Board", "James (Jim) A. Johnson, Council Chairman", "Awards for exemplary achievements in the built environment", "After 25 years of marriage, Washington power couple Maxine Isaacs and Jim Johnson separate", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=James_A._Johnson_(businessman)&oldid=992035755, Members of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs alumni, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 3 December 2020, at 03:37. His marriages to Katherine Marshall and Ms. Isaacs ended in divorce. Government–backed Fannie Mae remains a vital cog in the U.S. housing market. [1] He married Heather Muir Kirby, a managing director at Deutsche Bank, in 2016. [34], Johnson has served as chairman of the Kennedy Center for the Arts (1996–2004) where he created and endowed the center's Millennium Stage. His father, Alfred Ingvald Johnson, owned a grocery store and was a real estate broker. Instead he focused on the company’s goals of helping low-income families, immigrants and young people obtain mortgages and own their own homes, which he said was part of the American dream. [1] After they divorced, he married Maxine Isaacs, who served as press secretary for Mondale's 1984 election campaign. Before working for Fannie Mae, Johnson co-founded the private consulting firm Public Strategies with diplomat Richard Holbrooke. As chairman and chief executive, he led Fannie Mae to record profits; its net income more than tripled to $3.91 billion in 1999, the year after he retired. From 1990 to 2000, the company's stock grew 500 percent. Mr. Johnson in 1999, when he was chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. [20][21] In 1996 Johnson published a book, Showing America a New Way Home. [35][36][37] He was also chairman of the Brookings Institution (1994–2003)[38] and continued thereafter to serve on the Advisory Council of the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project. The New Deal deposit insurance safety net that worked so well when limited to deposits in heavily regulated banks that paid fees into an insurance fund was also being perverted. The most consequential was Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored mortgage-finance giant that he helped build into one of the dominant financial institutions in the world. A non-cash loan loss reserve of $5.5 Billion needs to be added back. Mr. Johnson stepped down in 1999, but there has long been a debate about whether he was responsible for creating the culture that led to Fannie Mae’s failure. A Medici With Your Money - By Matthew Cooper - Slate Magazine Indeed, preserving its government subsidy is Fannie Mae's central mission, which helps to explain why a fellow like Jim Johnson … When Mr. Mondale was elected vice president in 1976, Mr. Johnson became his executive assistant. [21][27][28] He also served on the board of Forestar Group, Gannett Company, Inc.,[2] KB Home,[21] Target Corporation,[20] Temple-Inland,[2] and UnitedHealth Group. Fannie provided more than $650 billion in liquidity to the residential mortgage m “Jim Johnson was clearly the reason the senator was prepared for that exchange,” Jack Martin, a longtime Bentsen aide who was in the room at the time, said in an interview. Fannie's annual salary is between $30 - 39,999; properties and other assets push Fannie's net worth over $50,000 - $99,999. [12][14], In 1981, Johnson co-founded Public Strategies, a private consulting firm, with diplomat Richard Holbrooke. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”. [42], In 1994, Johnson received the Honor Award from the National Building Museum for his contributions to the U.S.'s building heritage during his tenure at Fannie Mae. Mr. Johnson, left, joined Fannie Mae in 1990; he succeeded David O. Maxwell, right, as chairman and chief executive in 1991 and built the company into one of the dominant financial institutions in the world. Within two blocks, there were 14 houses filled with his aunts, uncles and cousins. [2], While a student at the University of Minnesota, Johnson began his political career as a volunteer on the 1968 presidential campaign of Eugene McCarthy. In 1988, James A. Johnson, a Democratic operative, was helping Senator Lloyd Bentsen, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, prepare for his debate with Senator Dan Quayle, his Republican opponent. Mr. Johnson returned to politics to manage Mr. Mondale’s ill-fated campaign for president in 1984. 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