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.
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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]

Related

Bank Of America Briefly Considered Unburdening Itself Of The Drunken Mistake That Was Countrywide

And then decided that sticking with the "worst deal in the history of American finance," which has cost it $40 billion in cleanup so far, made them at least look like responsible adults, facing the consequences of their actions, rather than deadbeats trying to take the easy way out. Long before Sanford Weill suggested last week that big banks should split up, Bank of America executives and directors considered the idea and then decided against it, said people close to the nation's second-biggest bank by assets...Chief Executive Brian Moynihan and his team looked at a possible bankruptcy of Countrywide Financial Corp., the troubled mortgage operation it purchased in 2008. Management also studied whether it made sense to break off Merrill Lynch, the securities firm it purchased in 2009. Mr. Moynihan ultimately recommended to his board that neither action made sense. The company decided Merrill had become too big of a profit center and splitting it off could expose the brokerage firm to the sort of funding problems that killed off other Wall Street firms in 2008. Meanwhile, it felt bankruptcy of Countrywide might invite more legal and reputational troubles for Bank of America while exposing other subsidiaries to problems. Bank Breakups, Not So Fast [WSJ]