Financial Business Review: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Pay Cuts, Bank of America’s Side Deal

In a side deal with the Justice Department, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) may avoid up to $850 million in penalties if it allows borrowers to significantly reduce their mortgage balances, according to the Wall Street Journal. More than 200,000 borrowers could benefit in the bank follows through.

Investing Insights: BofA Strikes Side Deal in $25B Foreclosures Settlement.

$146 million more for Freddie Mac. The government-controlled institution got $6 billion in the third quarter and $7.6 billion for all of 2011. Freddie posted a ‘smaller loss’ ($1 billion, or $0.32 per share) in its fourth quarter, and so is requesting only the $146 million. It’s better than fourth quarter 2010, however, when its loss was $1.72 billion, or $0.53 per share. Meanwhile, future top 15 executives at Freddie and Fannie Mae will work with a pay cut by 24 percent this year, which is in line with plans to bring total annual packages for new CEOs down from $6 million to $500 thousand.

Don’t Miss: Freddie Mac Can’t Afford its Bailout.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is hiring heavily in the Salt Lake City area, which boasts lower taxes along with a work force which provides plenty of talent and drive. Salt Lake could now become the fourth largest Goldman global operation, with only New York, New Jersey and London being larger.

A plan that would “increase shareholder value by 60 percent” by dividing Hartford Financial (NYSE:HIG) in two, is revealed in more specificity by John Paulson. He explains that the property-casualty unit is a “dominant” player in commercial insurance, but that the unit is “buried” within the larger company, undervalued by shareholders and is ignored by analysts.

Investing Insights: Markets Close Higher on Jobs Data, Greek Deal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lawson at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com