Countrywide

Countrywide Troubles For Bank of America

Does Bank of American big man Ken Lewis know what he’s getting into with Countrywide? The recent news tying former Fannie Mae chief executives to sweetheart loans from Countrywide may result in the home lender getting cut off from the GSE gravy train. At the very least, Countrywide’s share of Fannie Mae’s dollars for mortgages exchange program is sure to decline.
But it’s not just Countrywide’s revenues that are in trouble. It’s piling up declining real estate assets as borrowers default. “As the deal moves ever closer, the number of homes that Countrywide owns in Florida has now climbed above 1,600 and the prices, despite being slashed repeatedly, continue to fall,” Michelle Leder writes at Footnoted.org.

More examples of Countrywide’s multiplier effect…
[Footnoted]

Angelo Mozilo Deeply Offended That You’re Offended

mozilo.jpgI don’t think any of you really comprehend how hard it is to be Angelo Mozilo. A typical day for the Countrywide CEO will include being given shit because a bunch of deadbeats couldn’t get it together to make the payments on mortgages he convinced them to take out, having to justify his barely adequate compensation, and being forced to replace the bulbs on his in-house tanning bed because the guy from Mystic Tan said he’d be there between 9 and 3 PM and it’s 3:35 and daddy “needs to get his burn on now, god damn it.” So when he gets an email from a homeowner seeking guidance, and said homeowner has the audacity to borrow language from LoanSafe.org, a coaching service for troubled borrowers, well, he (entirely justifiably) snaps. Daniel Bailey wrote (to Big Moz and various other senior Countrywide execs):

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mozilo-1.jpgWell, everyone, syphilis is on the rise. The Department of Health reports that cases of Cupid’s disease in the city increased sixty percent last year. Who do we have to blame for this? Nominations include Jim Simons, Cody and Cavuto, and Angelo Mozilo, the last one being most plausible, considering his (tanning) bed-hopping frequency. Hopefully, today’s testimony before Congress will shed some light. In the meantime– any other culprits you can think of? The shareholders have a right to know.
Citywide syphilis surge starts in Chelsea [Chelsea Now]

No! You Can Never Be Too Orange In Moz’s Eyes!

mozilo.jpg

I just saw (not so) “big al [Greenspan]” leaving the hotel on fifth ave (next to cipriani btwn 59th/60th). Not only does the guy have a Louis Vuitton luggage, he had an orange LV duffle. Seriously, what was he thinking?…I would have taken a picture if hadn’t been so nasty outside. The orange was similar to a “blood orange”, even moz would have been appalled.

I’m Asking You For Another Favor

mozilo.jpgWe’re not crazy- we understood full well the tough times that mortgage lender Countrywide has lately fallen on would mean a battening down and tightening of the company belt. We just assumed the streamlining would be contained to firing a ton of employees and screwing a few more people on their home loans, and not impinge on the really important stuff, like flying Ang. Moz.’s leathery goodness around the world in style.
So we were extremely disappointed to hear that the company put its Gulfstream IV on the market, for $21.5 million, which really isn’t that much money when you factor in how sad the sale will make the old crocodile, who’s had some great times in that thing. Making spur of the moment visits to Fresno for the ego boosts derived from thinking about how many people he and his associates fucked in town. Entertaining tanning bed distributers at the cabin bar during the flight to Dubuque, Iowa for their missionary work (if ever there was a population comprised solely of pasty individuals in need of a little “face paint,” as Moz likes to call it, it was in Dubque). Throwing $500,000 in small bills out the window over a cattle ranch in Montana, and making 100 Countrywide staffers pick up and return every last dollar. Shit like that.
And now he’s being involuntarily stripped of these memories, like the chemical peel he so desperately needs but refuses to get. Anyway. I’m not sure there’s anything any of us can do about it, but I just felt you should know. If I’m wrong, and you do have the scratch, there’s contact information for some Countrywide guy named Patrick Johnson who I guess is handling the sale. Give him a buzz in the office at (818) 778-1770, or try him on his cell at (203) 890-2000. This is important.
1990 GULFSTREAM IV [Controller]
* Yeah I know he “said” he wouldn’t use the company plane but we’re talking about Angelo Mozillo here and need to take everything that comes out of his mouth with a giant grain of If I’d screw you for a nickle, you don’t even want to know what I’d do to you for a free ride on the corporate jetTM salt.

Layoffs Watch ’08: Rebukes of (Mo’) Hazard

mozilo.jpgA former Countrywide employee informs us that Capital Market layoffs began this morning, with a 30-35 percent reduction in CMBS and 10 percent on the RMBS sales/trading desk. Packages were predictably weak (approximately 3 months on average with bonus allocations from 2007 ranging from 40-60 percent of the prior year, plus one free pass to the Hollywood Tans of their choice), but surveyed to be “better than ML and CS” (and, one hopes, BoA). He didn’t make mention of the larger issues– specifically, being burdened with the task of finding a new employer who furnishes the office with tanning beds instead of desks, and generally, how it’ll feel to no longer bask in the reflected glow of the big guy, but we’ll check back in a few days, when the shock’s worn off, and reality’s set in. And by reality setting in, we mean the recognition that each and everyone one of them played a small part in the historic effort of rooking millions of homeowners and investors — but the spoonful of sugar is that many deserved it. Good luck with your conscience. And the melonoma.

Hedge Fund Wants To Block Countrywide Deal

Is Bank of America’s acquisition of Countrywide in trouble? You wouldn’t think so if you’re looking at the spread between where the shares of the two companies are trading. The spread between the shares and the offering price has narrowed dramatically in the last few days, from a high of nearly 25% to the current 15% gap.
But today the Monaco-based hedge fund SRM Global Fund filed a 13D complaining that the merger plan does not deliver “sufficient value” to Countrywide shareholders. SRM has acquired a 5.19% stake in Countrywide.
Most commentary on the deal has focused on whether Bank of America might back out. It has been described as a “bailout” and Bank of America’s role as that of a “White Knight.” The idea that Countrywide’s shareholders would balk at the deal comes as a surprise.
SRM seems to specialize in troubled home lenders. They also have a major stake in Northern Rock.
SRM 13D [SEC]
Countrywide merger criticized, BoA names mortgage exec [Reuters]