Angelo Mozilo: Countrywide Was The Cadillac Of Mortgage Lenders

In June 2008, Countrywide founder and CEO Angelo Mozilo stood before a group of CFC shareholders and, through salty tears, told them that Bank of America would “reap the benefits of what we have sowed.” He wasn’t kidding, and in the 4+ years since Ken Lewis paid $4 billion for the place, BofA has had the pleasure of ponying up an additional $40 billion (and counting) in write-downs and legal fees associated with cleaning up Countrywide’s messes, while CEO Brian Moynihan has publicly described the acquisition as an albatross around his neck. Additionally, Ang Moz forked over $67.5 million in 2010 to “resolve SEC claims that he misled investors,” and separately, there has been talk by some that Countrywide contributed in no small way to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. In light of all that, does Ang Moz, have any regrets about the way his company was run? Not a fucking one and if he had to do it all over? He wouldn’t change a thing.

Mozilo…spoke in a June 2011 deposition as part of a lawsuit between his firm, which was bought by Bank of America Corp. (BAC), and MBIA Inc. (MBI), according to documents filed this week in New York […] Mozilo responded to questions from an MBIA attorney who asked if he regretted how Calabasas, California-based Countrywide was run after “all the foreclosures and ruined lives and lawsuits.” Mozilo called the lawyer’s question “nonsensical and insulting.” “I have no regrets about how Countrywide was run,” Mozilo said. “We were a world-class company in every respect.”

As for trying to pin one iota of blame on Big Moz re: the crisis? How DARE you. Don’t even entertain the thought of impugning his integrity. There is no way he could have ever seen this coming.

The crisis was “not caused by an act of Countrywide,” said Mozilo, 73, according to a transcript of the deposition. “This is all about an unprecedented, cataclysmic situation, unprecedented in the history of this country. Values in this country dropped by 50 percent.”

And in case it’s not exactly clear, he was and continues to be HEARTBROKEN for anyone who’s had a tough time, who he’ll mention in the acceptance speech he delivers after being given a lifetime achievement award for building the greatest company in the world.

Mozilo “remains really proud of his company and this institution he built,” said his attorney, David Siegel. “It would be unfair to say he doesn’t feel a great deal of empathy for the honest, hard-working Americans who suffered in the financial crisis.”

Mozilo Unbowed Says Countrywide Was ‘World-Class Company’ [Bloomberg]

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64 Responses to “Angelo Mozilo: Countrywide Was The Cadillac Of Mortgage Lenders”

  1. Guest says:

    Cadillac circa 1997 maybe.

  2. Richard Fuld says:

    Seems like a fine explanation to me.

  3. sme says:

    aaahh, his face is on fire!…

  4. Guy with A.D.D. says:

    Cadillac / Pontiac……, you know what I mean!

    -Angelo Mozilo

  5. ILoveLamp says:

    If by "world-class company in every respect" he means a criminally reckless disregard for even the basics of sound lending practices, a hell-bent for leather drive for market share, and a shameless disregard for shareholders while mangement grants itself outrageous stock allocations which it then sells with near perfect timing based on insider information, then, yeah, totally agree.

  6. Fruits says:

    Angelo? More like Tangelo!

  7. Guesticle says:

    He has a point. Similar customer base for a lot of both businesses

  8. Guest says:

    Love the tan.

    – Christine Lagarde

  9. Bandersnatch says:

    We were the Cadillac of worms.
    – Red Wigglers

  10. Italians Everywhere says:

    He gives us a bad name.

  11. No Teeth says:

    Only an Italian would wear such a suit

  12. Guest says:

    Cadillac Cimarron, maybe?

  13. SellingLow says:

    John McCain looks good with a tan. Damn.

  14. Guestasaurus says:

    Enough of the Orange Man. Need a Dramatic Reading recap!

  15. Quant me maybe says:

    If Christine Lagarde and Angelo Mozilo had a child, would it be born with that same leather like quality and odd orangish hue to it's skin?

    .. It's just disturbing.

  16. Jim Lahey says:

    If you were casting a role for a "greedy financial villain type" Moz here would be too cliche.

  17. C.Huxtable says:

    The tan, gangsta pinstripes and goodfellas shirt never get old.

  18. Busy says:

    I've been busy, so have not seen DB since 2008. I know this becuase the last post I remember said that Viva La Vida sounded like it was written for Dick Fuld. Slow day, so I'm back. Good to see that Ang Moz still features prominently. How about some of the other clowns? Besides said Fuld, there must be something interesting to report on that dufus Noel from Fairfield Greenwich Group. Is he still alive? How about his son in law – gunned down yet, for his part in attracting and then vaporizing what seemed at the time a lot of South American drug money? After I sign off, I'm gonna google Bess. See if that pic that's not her (but instead the Lois Lane actress) is still there.

  19. Busy says:

    whoa… A pic of Bess does exist…. Nice… Much better than the LL chick.

  20. Guest says:

    Its true in a Miller Light is the Champaign of Beers sort of way.

  21. Guest says:

    Mozilo's attorney added "Mr Mozilo would like to point out that spending 30 hours a week in a tanning bed has been shown to be detrimental to ones vision so any shareholders planning a lawsuit claiming Mr. Mozilo should have seen this coming should be directing them at the true culprits of the housing crisis – tanning bed manufacturers".

  22. Bacon Is Tasty says:

    Never trust a guy in a gold tie…….

  23. Guest says:

    “We were a world-class company in every respect.”

    Nothing says world-class like California consumer finance.

    – The ghosts of Golden West, Indymac, Homefed, Money Store, etc

  24. leeminbrahs says:

    No wonder why people don't hire Fordham grads….

  25. Bob says:

    Countrywide should be investagated along with fannie mae, and freddie mac for all the B.S. subprime mortagae's they agreed to take from countrywide something like a 100% of the mortagaes they were creating

  26. Guest says:

    Mozilo…. that original firefox!

  27. Guest says:

    anyone noticed the top and bottom halves of this guy's head are different sizes?

  28. chris pirro says:

    Mozilo did run a great company, he was just the Big Fish, what people do not realize is that he just sold the product Wall Street came up with, rating companys were rating people with 580 credit scores AAA securitys and selling this crap around the world, and of course Wall Streets Stated income is what took down the entire industry…………………………………………

  29. Albert says:

    “This is all about an unprecedented, cataclysmic situation, unprecedented in the history of this country. Values in this country dropped by 50 percent.”"
    yeah right. I guess this is into something great. I love it then.
    first time home buyers

  30. nikki says:

    I guess this something great to share to us. Keep blogging.

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