In 2004, I had the unique distinction of being perhaps the only person in history to have the U.S. Senate place a bounty on his head. I didn't rob a train. My crime was leading a federal investigation into misconduct at Fannie Mae.

When I served as the director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), the Senate Appropriations Committee placed a proviso into my agency's budget authorization declaring that $10 million of the agency's budget could not be spent as long as I was in office. It wasn't quite a "wanted dead or alive" pronouncement, but the message from Fannie Mae and its many allies was clear — do your job at your own peril. This was only a small part of the intense political pressure I faced to ignore my legal obligations and accede to the popular sentiment at the time, which was that Fannie Mae could do no wrong.

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