Caveat Emptor…Countrywide Financial

Great article today by Brett Arends at TheStreet . Best part:

An observation:

Back in March, when the market first started panicking about the mortgage slump, Countrywide stock was still trading around $35. I wrote in this space about the fact that Mozilo and other insiders were shoveling stock out the door on an heroic scale. The CEO responded by going on TV to say that the mortgage turmoil was an “overreaction” that would “pass rather quickly” once people looked at the situation calmly.

He even went further, predicting that his company would benefit from the industry shakeout. “This will be great for Countrywide because at the end of the day all the irrational competitors will be gone,” he said. “A lot of our competitors are disappearing, virtually overnight.” As a result, he said, Countrywide was seeing “a flow of new business coming in. … At the end of the day, we’re going to be in an extremely dominant position.”

Comments like that did nothing to hurt the share price, which stayed above $35 right through the spring, and even into July.

During that period, Mozilo’s broker sold $95 million worth of his shares at an average price of $35.37, company filings show.

The investors who bought those shares have already lost $41 million.

How does Mozilo view the situation now? “I don’t see a light here at the moment,” he said last week.

My observation…What an old asshole. All the prick had to to in my opinion is stay off tv and keep his mouth shut or be honest on tv. Nope. Guilty in my book. That money should come back to shareholders.

Here is The Fly’s always entertaining angle…a mock letter to shareholders:

Angelo Mozilo, CEO of CountryWide Financial

This just in:

“Dear Shareholders,

As you know, I have been “dumping” stock on the open market, while handing out loans to OTB/Sub-Prime guy’s. Over the last few decades, my obsessive tanning routine has led to the baking of my brains and roasting of my balls, so my shrink says.

Proudly, I’ve managed this company with the same vigor and lending standards as the Italian Mafia, minus all the broken legs and collar bones. Needless to say, I am confident CFC will tan its way to a new all time high, after hitting new lows (my editor says that sentence is incoherent. I believe he is lying).

My main concern, naturally, is to tan my ass and face, until my DNA is altered to reflect my “tropical aura.”

Speaking of tropical, as the mortgage meltdown commences, I will be visiting the Island of Puerto Rico, where I will sip, profusely, many pina colada’s, while taking in some long overdue rays.

Finally, the point of this note is to tell you how cool my new tanning machine is, while informing you how “uncool” the mortgage’s are.

Sorry Dude, I have to go see about a new lotion.




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