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Fannie Mae Is a Whopping $36 Million Over Budget on its New Headquarters

Fannie Mae headquarters in WashingtonFannie Mae headquarters in Washington
Fannie Mae headquarters in WashingtonPhotograph by Kevin Lamarque — Reuters

Fannie Mae is no stranger to opulent spending.

It’s history is checkered with accounting scandals that helped inflate executive pay and instances where it lavished money on lobbyists to protect its unique status as a quasi-governmental organization that sent its profits to shareholders rather than the Treasury.

One would think that now that Fannie is under conservatorship by the federal government that its days of lavish spending were over, but an inspector general report released Thursday morning shows that the housing giant will overspend by $36 million on its new headquarters in Washington, D.C. Of course, if the government is taking all your profits anyway, executives may be more willing to spend their potential profits on office upgrades rather than giving it to Uncle Sam.

The report shows that the new headquarters, which it is leasing, will include seemingly unnecessary architectural features including glass encased bridges connecting separate parts of the building and a rooftop viewing deck. The report paints a picture of a lack of communication between Fannie and officials at FHFA, the organization tasked with overseeing Fannie and Freddie Mac, which allowed the cost overruns to go unchecked.

“To the best of our knowledge, FHFA has not approved any of the proposed features in Fannie Mae’s architectural and engineering plans nor has it reviewed or approved proposed expenditures by Fannie Mae for these features.” The report reads. “We do not know . . . the extent to which proposed features in Fannie Mae’s architectural and engineering plans can be altered.”