Mr. Angelo R. Mozilo, former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Countrywide Financial stood in front of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission recently stating such gems as (Countrywide Financial) “was one of the most admired companies in America, financial or otherwise” and “probably made a difference in society, in the integrity of our society, than any other company in America” and that he is “proud of what he accomplished”.
For those of you who do not remember, Countrywide Financial was the company that had a huge part in the mortgage crisis. In October of 2010, Mr. Mozilo agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle federal charges that he misled investors about Countrywide’s risky loan portfolio (the largest ever levied by the S.E.C. (Securities and Exchange Commission). Are you getting the idea that something does not add up here? Wait, there is more. In this deal, Mr. Mozilo, who did not admit or deny any wrongdoing, also agreed to forfeit $45 million in “ill-gotten gains”. Something smells really bad here.
Through setting up millions of bad loans (and a multitude of VIP loans to special employees of companies like Fannie Mae (wait, wasn’t Fannie Mae in this big mess as well?)), he led Countrywide Financial to a stock increase of approximately 25,000 percent….25,000 percent. This equaled increases seen by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway during the same period. The success was short-lived as the value of Countrywide stock eventually dived 90 percent. This led to the buyout of Countrywide Financial by Bank of America for $4 Billion. Bank of America, by the way, is still paying for Mr. Mozilo’s not so stellar record.
Is it not clear to anyone by now that it is men like this who, even with the penalties levied against them, are still sitting pretty with large bank accounts as American’s are still losing their homes? Tell me it was the American people’s fault for signing into hefty monthly payments….go ahead, I dare you.
Now, I am sure many American’s that would have never been able to get a home loan before were very happy when Countrywide came along. After all, they finally got approved. They finally were seen by a financial institution for being worthy enough to get a home. As for making a difference in society…yes, Mr. Mozilo, you sure did. All you have to do is drive down any street USA and see all the homes for sale or foreclosed. All you have to do is listen to the stories of thousands of renters losing their homes that they pay for on time because the owners of the property could not keep up.
Zip it, Mr. Mozilo. If anyone needed a muzzle right now, it would be you. Proud of what you accomplished? I am sure you are. After all, you have a home…a pretty nice one at that (http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/angelo-r-mozilos-house/).
Hey, I heard about the housekeeper who made $300/week (that was listed in the loan as having income of over $6,800 /month) who you got a $339,000 home loan for. I know of a lot of my friends who are unemployed…perhaps, you can get them into a modest $250,000 home as well.
More importantly, I was wondering what is going through this guys head to think he was the captain of the best company this country has ever seen and then get up and tell the world the same. Is this ego? Is it denial? Is it a man worried about losing his own fortune? One thing for sure is that his brain went offline a long time ago. He may have started in business with a good intention in mind (maybe), but it quickly and obviously grew into greed. It makes me wonder why we constantly see this type of story over and over again with people who find themselves with great wealth. Is it a necessary evil that goes along with having that much money? I think it is up to the individual and not fair to make such a sweeping generalization as there are many rich people out there doing very good things for society. It is up to all of us as humans to stand in true assistance to each other…no matter how much money we have in the bank. Mr. Mozilo is still convincing himself that this is exactly what he did. So, either someone erased his intelligence with a ray gun, or he is lying out his teeth in a vain attempt to save a face that has been dragged through the mud for over two years.
So, what to do with Mr. Mozilo? I think he should move as many foreclosed families into his home for free…it’s sure big enough.
—– Erik Sudberg