U.S. & World

Mitt Romney invested in Fannie, Freddie, report discloses


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  • CabezaMan Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 25, 2012 2:03 a.m.

    Give me strength! Regardless of the context of the issues regarding Romney's professional history, taxes, contributions, investments, whatever - the premise of the attacks came from "Conservative Republican Capitalists." Everyone realizes this, right? Right? Of all the gutter running divisive players in the public arena, Newt is proving to be the unprincipled character from which his historical reputation precedes him. But South Carolina bought it hook line and sinker.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Jan. 24, 2012 9:50 p.m.

    He would get money FROM Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae if those two funds did what they were supposed to do, that is, produce a positive income. It is the reason people invest in something. One rarely puts money into a stock or other fund in hopes that it will decline in value. So we can be sure Mitt or his surrogate did excpect to make money with these two funds.

    Also, even with a blind trust, can one not tell the manager not to place certain things in the portfolio? Mitt may, for instance, feel strongly about earning money from alcohol or tobacco products, so he may tell his surrogate not to invest in them. He could choose that---or these as well. I am sure, if he wished it, he could make some decision unless he's completely powerless, which I'm sure isn't the case.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Jan. 24, 2012 9:34 p.m.

    Joan Watson, maybe lots of investors took a hit, but Romney had lots to invest in other places, and those who took the hit probably didn't get to take money to places like the Cayman Islands, either, I bet. And if that's the case, why did so many politicians with diversified portfolios think the average person with a little 401k could make do if their investments up and died while their SSA accounts, promised and counted upon to help keep their golden years from tarnishing, became privatized? Of course, this may not mean a thing to the millionaires and billionaires, but to the guy in a little frame house somewhere who just retired, I bet it's a really big deal. But he's the guy Mitt has trouble connecting with. Too bad, he might have really liked him, too.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2012 9:24 p.m.


    Check and see how much Bill Clinton has made on speaking fees. I can tell you that he made 82 million dollars from 2000-2006. Are you against speaking fees?

    Jan. 24, 2012 7:37 p.m.

    Howard Beal: Another Deseret News article showed that Barack Obama paid a HIGHER percentage of income to charity than the generous amount Mitt Romney paid.

    Jan. 24, 2012 7:08 p.m.

    Big difference in investing money into a struggling company and taking large consulting fees out of the company in exchange for political access.

  • Vince the boonies, mexico
    Jan. 24, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    Isn't it time for "another" one day visit to Utah for "another" fund raiser Mitt? Poor man needs help Utah!

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 2:48 p.m.

    I agree, what a non-story. And don't most people try to get all the legal deductions they can at task time. Why would he be any different. Should he be hammered because he donated to charitable causes, even the LDS church? All of us should donate to charity and if we get a tax break, not against that. It has shown over time this incentive does work (increases people giving to charity). Meanwhile President Obama and Newt Gingrich gave less than 2.5% of their earned wealth to charity. This article really bugged me, it was much ado about nothing.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Jan. 24, 2012 2:44 p.m.

    Utah Centrist... the tangible word tied to tithing is increase. The church does not get into defining that to be either Gross or Net... leaving that to the tithe payer... but if you look at it from...the perspective of receiving Gross blessings versus Net Blessings then you might have some validity of some nature... for some kind of an argument... which you are obviously trying to convey is hidden in some covert undertaking on Romney's part...although I certainly don't think that proves anything about robbing God.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 1:50 p.m.

    I'm a Mormon, a card carrying Mormon. And I love my fellow members (brothers and sisters). But sometimes you embarrass me! How on earth do any of you presume to know what is a full tithing for Mitt. And how can you possibly believe that paying the amount of income tax you legally owe can be unethical? Who are the ethics police? Do you have a form "1040 Ethical" to supplement the government issued one? Really! Some people think income tax itself is unethical! Just say you don't like Mitt Romney and you will vote for someone else and be done with it!

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 1:38 p.m.

    'There is a big difference between investments by a mutual fund and being a "historian" for Freddie and Fannie at the rate of 25,000 dollars a month.' - Mick | 1:02 p.m. Jan. 24, 2012

    You mean...

    like a $374,000 speaking 'fee?'

    **'Mitt Romney downplays $374,000 in speaking fees as 'Not Very Much' - By Ryan Grim and Luke Johnson - Huffington Post - 01/17/12

    "WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney has a new definition of "not much": $374,327.
    On Tuesday, the Republican presidential candidate finally admitted that the effective tax rate he has been paying for the last several years is likely below that of middle-class workers..." - article

    What is the difference between Newt and Romney financially?

    Answer: Not much.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Jan. 24, 2012 1:26 p.m.

    From the Washington post:
    Mitt Romney offered a partial snapshot of his vast personal fortune late Monday, disclosing income of $21.7 million in 2010 and $20.9 million last year virtually all of it profits, dividends or interest from investments.
    None came from wages. Instead, Romney collected millions in capital gains from a profusion of investments, as well as stock dividends and interest payments.
    The couple gave away $7 million in charitable contributions over the past two years, including at least $4.1 million to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Math 21.7 + 20.9 = 42.6 tithes = 4.1

    Close enough, Possible, he may have over paid in prior years. We still don't know who the anonymous donor for the Nauvoo Temple is. Could that be a reason he doesn't want to expose his earlier tax returns?

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 24, 2012 1:12 p.m.

    It also seems odd that people are now calling on us to vote for or against Romney based on assumptions about his standing before God, which we do not know.

    Two points. 1 we are voting for a political not a religious leader. Romney's standing in the Church is not an issue in the election. 2, if Romney regularly transfered stocks at the time he aquired them as tithing, the way his income is being figured for tithing purposes and for tax purposes may be significantly different. There are other possible factors. I have been taught to never assume, and that is what people who think they can assume that his federal tax income is the income he should pay tithing on are doing.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    Jan. 24, 2012 1:09 p.m.

    How much tax did Newt pay? How did he invest his income? Were his investments smart and made him more money, if yes, then his capital gains tax rate would be the same as Mitt's. Mitt paid $3,000,000 in taxes and donated about that same amount to his self-appointed charities - how much $ did Newt give to charities? I don't really care... but if you ask your opponent to show you his, then you need to be ready to show yours.
    Likewise, Newt took money FROM Fannie, but Mitt, if anything, put money INTO Fannie - there is a difference.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 24, 2012 1:06 p.m.

    The point that this illustrates what is at the root of the mortgage crisis is a good one. Most of these investments were by Romney's blind trust, which he has no direct say in what it does (although its managers may at times try to not invest in things he disaproves of) into mutual funds. The whole thing about mutual funds is they buy in all sorts of stock.

    These are the types of complexed financial instuments that made 15 people in Warren, Michigan defaulting on their loans into a disruption of financial institutions nation wide.

    There are good questions of whether mutual funds are good for the investor oversight funtions of the stockmarket, but this goes way beyond Romney.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2012 1:02 p.m.

    Could someone please inform Pagan about mutual funds. How many investments there are in any given mutual fund and who watches them. I am not sure he has one and knows how they work.

    There is a big difference between investments by a mutual fund and being a "historian" for Freddie and Fannie at the rate of 25,000 dollars a month.

    I am pretty sure that I have some investments through my mutal fund that I probably don't love. But I don't have time to follow every single investment. I have a job. I pay someone else to look after my mutual fund investments.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 24, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    I would not that Romney investing in Fannie and Freddie did not give him any tax breaks. It might have reduced his taxable income because there were more profitable places his money could have been invested, and thus reduced the amount of taxes he actually paid, but it was not a way to get tax breaks. His tax rate is largely a result of itemizing his donations.

  • mare54 KIHEI, HI
    Jan. 24, 2012 12:55 p.m.

    Very interesting comment......."legal" v.s. "ethical"...... where do Mormons stand????

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    'A man can not rob God.' - UtahCentrist | 12:09 p.m. Jan. 24, 2012


    But apparently, if you dontate to enough 'charity' you can pay less in taxes than average Americans...

    **Romney paid $3M in federal income tax in 2010 By Stephen Braun AP Published by DSNews 01/24/12

    At the same time, Romney gave nearly $3 million to charity about half of that amount to the Mormon Church which helped lower his effective tax rate to a modest 14 percent...' - article

    **'I'll vote against Romney because of his positions on issues...' - Jack-P | 4:21 a.m. Jan. 24, 2012

    Jack, I apologize.

    I thought you were saying that you were going to vote FOR Romney because of his positions.

    When Romney can change his support on positions in just x24 hours...

    I question the logic of supporting someone, who might not support you...


    **'Mitt Romney pledges opposition to gay marriage' - CBS News - 08/04/11


    'It's also notable because Romney was not always such a strong opponent of gay rights. In 1994, he sent a letter to a gay Republican group saying he would be a stronger advocate for gay rights...' - Same Article

  • UtahCentrist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    If Romney indeed made $20.9 million in 2010 and only paid $1.5 million in contributions to the church, that means he paid a tithing of... 7% (or less).

    Not a 10% tithe. Only 7%.

    To LDS, shorting your tithe by several million dollars should be a pretty big deal.

    This should be a BIG DEAL to any faithful LDS supporting Romney.

    A man can not rob God.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 11:32 a.m.

    @ Cougarblue:
    "All the tax shelters and such make we ask one question. For Latter-Day Saints, are the tems "legal" and "ethical" supposed to mean the same? I expect more from card holding members, much more.

    Like 20% tithing? If 10% tithing is ethical, wouldn't 20% be more ethical?


  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    @ ClarkKent: What he said is not an excuse. We make excuses for something we did that was wrong. Romney did nothing wrong...unless you consider it wrong to earn alot of money, invest in a blind trust with a mutual fund, pay the legal amount of taxes, and donate millions to charity. Tell us, for what bad behavior was he making excuses?

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Jan. 24, 2012 11:21 a.m.

    Funny... Like almost everyone else posting on here... I thought that was what money managers were supposed to do... advise and to place the money entrusted to them in the best places in order to make returns for thier clients. As far as who those investors might possibly be in both Fredie and Fannie would include thousands if not millions of other investors...and possibly every U.S. Senator or Congressman. I don't see how either Romney or Gingrich could be called on the carpet for where thier investment advisors suggested they put thier money. That people is what they do. They have a fiduciary responsibility to thier clients that is totally different than the ficduciary obligation of someone like a politician named Barnie who headed the Congressional oversight commitee over both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac...So the reality is that this story is extremely stretching the envelope to even postulate that either Newt or Mitt had anything to do with thier collapse.

  • bluejean Farmington, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    If Republicans continue to embrace this OWS-type rhetoric spawned by Perry and Gingerich, it will prove to be the chess move that gives Gingerich the candidacy but will be the checkmate when he loses to Obama in the general election.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    'I'll vote against Romney because of his positions on issues...' - Jack-P | 4:21 a.m. Jan. 24, 2012

    And what position...

    is that?

    **'Mitt Romney steers clear of Ohio health, union issues' - By Dan Sewell - AP - Published by DSNews - 10/25/11


    **'Mitt Romney reverses himself, supports anti-union law' - By Philip Elliott - AP - Published by DSNews - 10/26/11

    Mitt Romney factually can CHANGE his position on the issues...

    in x24 HOURS.

    So, I cannot see what 'position' you are supporting him, on.


    WASHINGTON Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has criticized rival Newt Gingrich for earning more than $1.6 million in consulting fees from Freddie Mac even though he had invested as much as $500,000 in the U.S.-backed lender and its sister entity, Fannie Mae. - article

    So, Mitt Romney was AGAINST Freddie/Fannie...

    AFTER, he invested $500,000...

    into it.

    This, is a contradiction.

    A Double Standard.

    And is evidence of what Romney might/might not do...

    if elected into office.

    See it as a 'non-issue' if you like.

    He might change his mind about it...later regardless.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2012 10:56 a.m.

    "And will this be the excuse he will use should he be elected President when something in the executive branch of the Government goes wrong? He had someone else handle it and had no role in it?"

    No clarkkent, that is obama's MO aka operation fast and furious.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Jan. 24, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    Romney invested in Freddie and Fannie - so what! So did thousand of investors - and like myself took a loss not only in freddie but in other investments as well.. Two thirds of a personal investment portfolio took a hit in this lastest economic mess - a mess that seems to have no end. We desperatly need intelligent, good, and wise leaders. Virtues that are in short supply in Washington.

  • CougarKeith Roy, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    Investing in, and lobbying for are two totally different things! Investing in, is as a private investor, you are taking a chance, and in that chance you hope to reap profits from your investment into an American Government entity, much like savings bonds. If it's a guarenteed investment who wouldn't be smart enough to invest in it? It's called diversifying your investments with some guarenteed investments, and that is SMART, not evil! Secondly, Lobbying for Freddy or Fannie, is bad because they were losing so much money! Especially if you are reaping big bucks by doing so, something Gingrich has yet to be proven of. I still believe strongly and mark my words the day Santorum pulls out of the race Romney should name him as his running mate to show he is a CONSERVATIVE running for president on CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES!

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 10:01 a.m.

    If people object to a tax rate of 15%, they should lobby their Senators and Congresspeople to change that rate. Romney didn't create that rate. He just uses it as all law abiding taxpayers should.

  • Semper Fi Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 24, 2012 9:57 a.m.

    What are you guys? OWS in secret?

    Sloooow news day. Yawn....

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    Jan. 24, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    Romney is "being spun around like a top". I hope that he has a "thick skin". If he wins Florida, a week away, then it's "game on".

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    Billions of people invested in Freddie and Fannie through various funds. It's part of the reason the whole real estate scandal was such a shocker.

    In fact I would be more suspicious if he hadn't invested in them... because that would mean he may have known what was going to happen.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    It is ridiculous to make this an issue. Investing in Freddie and Fannie (even if Romney had chosen those investments himself, which he did not) would not in any way make him responsible for the failings of those institutions. On the contrary, it would strengthen them. Gingrich, on the other hand, received large payments from them, which would weaken them. Payments for advice? The advice certainly didn't help. Millions of Americans are suffering from the housing crisis touched off by the poor decisions of Fannie and Freddie.
    By the way, MANY DEMOCRATS in Congress and the Obama administration were right in the thick of the Fannie and Freddie mess, profiting from the tactics that led to the housing crisis.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    "Romney campaign officials said Monday that a trustee handles the investments and that Romney had no role in choosing or managing them."

    And will this be the excuse he will use should he be elected President when something in the executive branch of the Government goes wrong? He had someone else handle it and had no role in it?

  • Ed Meyer Kanab, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    OK. I am a state retiree. The state retirement fund invests money everywhere. They may or may not invest in Fanny Mae. I don't have a clue. I'm bad, right? Give me a break.

  • katy salt lake city, ut
    Jan. 24, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    Is it illegal to invest your own money in Freddie? What government laws has he been guilty of breaking? Hard for me to believe that Republicans are critical of Romney's wealth when they promote capitalism. Those that make money because of their strengths and do it legally is what America is about.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 8:42 a.m.

    This information is completely irrelevant. The investment in Freddie was made by a manager in a blind trust. Romney had NOTHING to do with the decision. Absolutely irrelevant.

  • Cougar Blue N. Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 24, 2012 8:35 a.m.

    All the tax shelters and such make we ask one question. For Latter-Day Saints, are the tems "legal" and "ethical" supposed to mean the same? I expect more from card holding members, much more.

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    Whether or not you like Mitt Romney, a close look at the fast and loose printed word will tell you that the authors of this article are less than honest in their telling of the story.So is the DMN in the headline.

    Romney attacked Gingrich for his lobbying for the questionable Fannie and Freddie and acting to support their questionable practices.

    Romney invested in a mutual fund with some assets in the two. Even at that, the headline is false by the admission of its author. One fund had $100,00 in it. The other had $250,000 in it. Hmmm... $350,000, not $500,000.

    You may argue that I'm parsing words, but what bothers me is not the challenges to Romney, but the loose play with the truth. It is not the same to invest in something as it is to shill for something, but Gingrich should get a pass and Romney not? Is there an agenda here or what?

    Romney paid $3M in taxes in 2010. Is that wrong when there are and have been sitting legislators in congress indicted for tax evasion. Why is it immoral in this country to succeed?

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    Jan. 24, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    I'm excited that Romney is Smart with his money and understands how to make income - not how to go into debt. This is what we need as a leader. If Romney was poor, didn't understand finances or how to enlist investors into his capital funds, then I would be disappointed.
    As long as he's paying all the taxes required under the law, then he's legit. Who would want an economic ignoramus running the country today...

  • Fern RL LAYTON, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 7:29 a.m.

    I would rather hear from Mitt Romney what financial magic tricks he has up his sleeve to help the US economic situation. Maybe he could help us all to avoid having a tax burden greater than 15%.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 24, 2012 7:15 a.m.

    The returns show that Mitt and Ann Romney, who are worth from $190 million to $250 million, earned $21.7 million in 2010 and paid a 13.9 percent tax rate, lower than that of a person earning $50,000. The total amount the Romneys paid in taxes in 2010 was about $3 million.

    Along with releasing their tax returns from 2010, the Romneys released estimates for their 2011 taxes, which have not yet been filed. The estimates show an income of $20.9 million, with the couple paying a tax rate of 15.4 percent, closer to the estimate that Romney gave at a January 17 press conference. The Romneys' income came entirely from investments, mostly from capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate than other types of income.

    Those investments are littered across a series of accounts in places stretching from America to the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg and even include a now-closed Swiss bank account.

    In 2010 Romney gave nearly $3 million to charity, with half of that going to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon church.

    Jan. 24, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    Romney invested in Fannie and Freddie. Gingrich took $1.6 million from them, Bush gave them a ton of money and McCain suspended his presidential campaign at the time to fly back to DC and vote for them to get a ton of money. Of course they all want to run from that now. That is the main thing that bothers me, not that they did it, but that they run from it.

    Why doesn't Romney run on his record as governor? He was a great governor and should be proud of all his accomplishments instead of running from them.

  • BobKjar Humble, TX
    Jan. 24, 2012 6:49 a.m.

    Why is this an issue? It looks like Romney was pouring money into Freddie and Fannie to pay Newt's salary. I don't know of any honest person or business in the country who doesn't try to minimize the tax burden on themselves and/or their business. The press is trying to make it look like it was a sin to invest in Freddie and Fannie. It was not and I don't know why they make it an issue other than to make it appear that Mitt has done something wrong.

  • djk blue springs, MO
    Jan. 24, 2012 6:17 a.m.

    yes romney has money invested in companies. why is his income being blasted and not the others ? the liberal media is biased and making up stories in which romney cannot get the country to understand he is an honorable man. i trust romney.

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    Jan. 24, 2012 4:54 a.m.

    So Romney invested with his personal money into Fannie and Freddie........Barack has invested with "all of our money" into a Money Pit that starts with "Stimulus, Solyndra, ATF (see Holder), Golf, Vacations and lavish parties.

    Who's most responsible??? Mitt!

  • voirdire ALPINE, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 4:41 a.m.

    What a misleading headline. it sounds like Romney intentionally invested in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
    1. His money is in a blind trust. He does not know what is in his investments.
    2. The Freddie Mac investment is part of a complex mutual fund. How many of us know all the assets in our mutual funds.

    Romney is honorable in his duties. He is in compliance with the law. Why is this an issue?

  • Jack-P West Valley, UT
    Jan. 24, 2012 4:21 a.m.

    I am certainly no Romney fan, but it doesn't appear that he has done anything illegal. Taking advantage of any available tax break is what we all do each year when we claim deductions for dependents, mortgage, charitable giving...

    I'll vote against Romney because of his positions on issues, not because of his tax returns.

  • JJL Eugene, OR
    Jan. 24, 2012 1:09 a.m.

    There is a world of difference between passively investing in a mutual fund that includes Fannie and Freddie as part of the portfolio and being paid by those same institutions to use your past experience in Congress as a lobbyist, er, historian.

    This article is a raises a non-issue.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 24, 2012 12:58 a.m.

    Investing in a business shows that at some level you think it will make a profit. It is a very different act than taking large consulting fees from it. For one thing, since the fact of the matter is the problem is that Fannie did not have enough money and the US had to save it, it is consulting fees and not investors who created its problem. Unlike Gingrich, Romney was not syphoning off Fannie's funds.

  • WWJD mcallen, tx
    Jan. 24, 2012 12:57 a.m.

    you're kidding??? he has money in a mutual fund that put money into the hands that put money into the hands of his eventual opponent? lame headline. romney is rich, he has money all over the world. if he didn't have money in fannie mae, i'd be shocked. too bad gingrich has taken more money out of fannie and freddie than romney ever will.