Speculating on why Freddie Mac acting CFO David Kellermann killed himself is “completely morbid,” said Bess Levin in Dealbreaker. Kellermann, 41, worked long, stressful hours. But he’d also hired bodyguards after controversy erupted over retention bonuses at the ailing, publicly supported firm—he was set to get $850,000. Could “public outrage over his bonus have played a part” in his death?
Bonus outrage couldn’t have helped things, said Barbara Kiviat in Time. But morale at both Freddie and Fannie Mae—already the subjects of “fairly constant vilification” by politicians and the media—was “horrible” before that. The predictable exodus of talent will just make things worse, and at a time when we’re demanding ever more of the two agencies.
Five years ago, before “the entire blame for the financial crisis” was laid at Freddie and Fannie’s feet, said Floyd Norris in The New York Times, Kellermann’s suicide would barely have made the local news. Now, his family has to suffer “innuendos” that his death is tied to investigations of wrongdoing at the agencies. He was a “troubled person”—give it a rest.