Former Freddie Mac President Buys $3.1 M. Condo, Without Mortgage

transfers4 2 Former Freddie Mac President Buys $3.1 M. Condo, Without MortgageEugene McQuade is a smart man. Last year, the president and chief operating officer of Freddie Mac declined an offer to replace Richard Syron as chief executive of the mortgage behemoth.

Instead, he became vice chairman and president of Merrill Lynch’s U.S. banks, just before his old company, which, along with Fannie Mae, guarantees or owns around half of the nation’s $12 trillion of mortgage debt, plummeted so theatrically (the stock went from $67.20 to $3.89 in 52 weeks) that the entire American economy has apparently been jeopardized.

It’s unlikely that any of the $12 trillion in mortgage debt comes from Mr. McQuade. According to city records, he just paid $3.175 million for a 1,917-square-foot apartment in the Museum Tower on West 53rd Street; there are no mortgage filings along with the deed, which suggests he paid in cash.

His seller, a lawyer named Vaughn C. Williams, paid $2.7 million for the apartment in March 2006 (and, incidentally, took out a 90 percent mortgage).

“The Museum Tower apartments are—what’s the word?—very expansive,” said the listing broker, Elese Reid, though she wouldn’t comment on the sale. She paused to search for a better term. “‘Large scale,’ that’s what we want.” Out of the living room corner’s floor-to-ceiling windows, for example, you can see both the Hudson River and the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center.

A Web site called Cityfile broke news of the sale.

mabelson@observer.com