Severances assailed for Fannie, Freddie

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Executive salaries, bonuses, stock options and severance packages have long been a source of criticism in corporate America, particularly in cases where executives have run a company into the ground but still make out with a “golden parachute” in the form of millions of dollars in severance pay.

Members of Congress and the banking industry have already called for severance packages to be cut for Daniel Mudd, chief executive at Fannie Mae, and Richard F. Syron, chief executive at Freddie Mac.

Sen. Jim Bunning, Kentucky Republican, introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit the former executives at Fannie and Freddie from receiving their severance pay. Estimates of the packages vary, but some say they could reach $9 million for Mr. Mudd and $14 million for Mr. Syron.

Presidential nominees Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain have called for the executives’ severance pay to be withheld.

Mr. Syron took in $18.3 million in salary, bonuses and stock awards last year, representing a 24 percent raise from the previous year.

Mr. Mudd took in $11.6 million last year, just a 3 percent increase from 2006.

Mr. Syron and Mr. Mudd have hired attorneys to represent them in any pending government negotiations.

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