- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fannie Mae tapped Chief Operating Officer Michael Williams to replace Herb Allison as chief executive officer of the mortgage-finance company.

Mr. Williams, who has been at Washington-based Fannie since 1991, “has demonstrated time and again his ability to successfully lead and execute some of the most important initiatives the company has undertaken,” Chairman Philip A. Laskawy said in a statement Monday. Mr. Allison was nominated by President Obama to run the Treasury office overseeing the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program for banks.

Fannie, operating under a government-run conservatorship since September, is trying to curtail losses stemming from record mortgage delinquencies. At the same time the Obama administration has pushed the company to offer low-cost mortgage refinancings and waive loan standards to help curb foreclosures amid the worst U.S. housing market since the Great Depression.

Mr. Williams, who joined Fannie from KPMG Peat Marwick’s information technology group, developed a technology platform as president of Fannie’s eBusiness unit. He was elevated to COO in 2005 in a management shake-up after a $7.9 billion overstatement of earnings for 2002 and 2003.

Fannie and Freddie Mac together own or guarantee 56 percent of all U.S. home loans. The two reported combined net losses of $109 billion for 2008 as mortgage delinquencies rose. The government seized the companies after examiners determined their losses would further disrupt the housing market. Fannie has tapped $15.2 billion in emergency preferred stock investments from the Treasury. Freddie has taken $44.6 billion.

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