For nine years, from 1999 until 2008, Newt Gingrich worked helping Freddie Mac, the government–created, bubble-creating housing corporation. Newt’s outfit, The Gingrich Group, knocked down more than $1.6 million dollars in consulting fees during that time.
Newt says he warned the government-sponsored giant that the bubble it was busy blowing up would burst badly.
For all those years? He was either mind-numbingly repetitive or must have really drawn out his words. He is from Georgia, but still.
Folks at Freddie tell a different story. They say former Speaker Gingrich helped “build bridges” to Republicans on Capitol Hill, hoping to prevent congressional efforts to rein in the mortgage giant. Those efforts proved successful — there was no powering down of the Frankenstein mortgage monster. The Gingrich Group’s contract wasn’t canceled until the 2008 crash, when the U.S. Treasury took control of Freddie Mac and his sister housing financier, Fannie Mae.
In last weekend’s GOP presidential debate, Congressman Ron Paul argued that Newt Gingrich’s position with Freddie Mac is “something people ought to know about.”
“While he was earning a lot of money from Freddie Mac,” explained Rep. Paul, “I was fighting, over a decade, to try to explain to people where the housing bubble was coming from.”
Newt responded that, like Dr. Paul, he wanted to audit the Fed. As for his Freddie role, “I offered strategic advice,” claimed Newt, adding, “I was in the private sector.”
Laughter erupted throughout the hall. Even Mr. Gingrich couldn’t keep a straight face.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.