Countrywide Financial’s former CEO and founder Angelo Mozilo’s 2003-8 haul : $470 mil.
Total fine he is to pay: $47.5 mil. (Apparently, The fine for pioneering a mortgage system that has crippled our housing economy and sent this country into this current recession- is approx 10% of what you earn in your last 5 years on the job.)
Background: The SEC alleged that Mozillo, along with two other colleagues, failed to reveal risks that the company was taking around that time. The civil charges however were related to claims that he had personally misled the market by wrongly assuring investors that his company was a premier quality mortgage lender that was able to avoid the excesses of many of its competitors. As well as this, Mr Mozilo was also found guilty of selling company shares in deals where inside knowledge of Countrywide Financial’s actual troubles wasn’t revealed. After Countrywide Financial crashed, Bank of America rescued it by purchasing 4 billion in non-voting shares. Mozilo setteled.
This is absolute insanity. …and I used to work for him, err Countrywide Financial when all this was going on. It was a miserable experience for me. The middle managers yelling (no, really) at you to increase production (“production” means convincing a person that knows NOTHING about loans or mortgages to take the loan they were being offered because is only gonna happen RIGHT NOW so they better take it) Unreasonable lending practices…when I started at CW you could get a mortgage with a 520 credit score! I had a complete lack of job satisfaction/security due to fact that ole CW flaunted the ability to replaced you at a moments notice. It was horrible. I go to sleep knowing that I never sold a loan to a person who couldn’t afford it. I can not say I did not hear about co-workers, managers, and other people talk about loans they floated or got approved that were…How can I say this…illegal, unethical, and wrong. I heard about documents that were sent in to be used for evidence of income that were manufactured by the client on the coaching of the CW employee. I would over hear conversations about how big this months check was going to be due to the number of sub-prime units that employee had closed on that month.
(Did I report any of it to my managers? YES Did anything happen? NO)
That experience sickens me when I think about it.
Unless you work or worked in a Fortune 500 company as a peon and tried to work your way up, you really have no idea about what corporate greed is and how it REALLY DOES prey on innocent, uneducated people. I quit shortly before the recession “officially” started because I hated my job, hated my then GF, and had no other reason to stay in that god forsaken hell hole.
Oh, and here are some additional Mozilo/ Countrywide info for you from the Wall Street Journal:
Countrywide’s reaction to the crisis was to push for more market share in the first half of 2007, aiming to benefit from the collapse of rivals. That backfired when Countrywide could no longer find buyers for many of the loans it had originated, leaving the company stuck with billions of dollars of high-risk mortgages. Former executives say Countrywide, which still accounts for about one in every seven home loans made in the U.S., was so focused on increasing volume that it neglected quality control.
Mr. Mozilo made things worse for himself by postponing his retirement and by making frequent, heavy sales of Countrywide stock. He offered discounts on loans to friends so frequently that FOA — for Friends of Angelo — became a familiar loan type among employees. He was quick to dismiss criticism from analysts and shareholders.
When asked last year about proposals to give shareholders a nonbinding vote on compensation, he said: “The shareholders have no clue” how much Countrywide needed to pay to attract talent.
When an analyst fretted in 2004 about Mr. Mozilo’s sales of Countrywide stock, he snapped that those who had construed his share sales as bearish were “losers.” Mr. Mozilo stepped up those sales in late 2006 and unloaded more than $130 million of stock in the first half of 2007. That undermined confidence in the company, demoralized some of his own employees and drew a continuing investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also faces a rash of lawsuits from investors, borrowers and state regulators.
Mr. Mozilo has said his stock sales were lawful and defended his right to dispose of what he regards as well-earned compensation. The problem in America, he said in an interview last year, is that “people are reviled if they make what people think is too much.” In Mr. Mozilo’s view, “if anybody makes a billion dollars, that’s America. That’s terrific!”
One final comment:
Mr. Mozilo, It is not “terrific” if that billion dollars is made on the sweat, blood, and ignorance of other people, you asshole.