New Orleans Angelo Mozilo help found Countrywide and ran it for years until dumping it off to Bank America. Many of the subprime and ARM products were toxic and account part of the collapse of the real estate markets and banking empires all around the Great Recession. The SEC trumped a settlement with Mozilo in the front pages on insider training claims. For a change he wisely kept his mouth. Had he not he probably would have crowed that he totally pimped them, which is what the math seems to say.
When I was negotiating an agreement with Countrywide and ACORN in 2007-2008, Herb Sandler, the billionaire banker and ARMs dealer extraordinaire, he called me several times with advice that said boiled down to one sentence he repeated several times: “Wade, none of us are smart enough to make a deal with Angelo.” Too bad, Herb, is laying low profile rather than on the phone to the SEC!
The SEC booked him for insider trading to the tune of $160 Million. He had hustled Bank of America in the sale of Countrywide to the carry the weight of his legal team which at settlement day was 5 high priced suits, and got them to pay $20 Million of the settlement. He ended up paying about $40 Million. Bottom line, he cleared $100 Million on these sketchy trades.
The Times pointed out that in the half dozen years before he off loaded to Bank of America he made more than $500 Million in pay from Countrywide. He picked up a couple of bucks on the sale as well…billions let’s say.
Maybe I don’t get the math, but it looks like Mozilo made out like a bandit and that this was little more than a hand slap or in his terms, just the cost of doing business. I would say there’s still no accountability for this mess.
This is no real penalty. Just a press release.