Angelo Mozilo


Angelo Mozilo

Angelo R. Mozilo (born 1938) was the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Countrywide Financial until July 1, 2008.[1] Condé Nast Portfolio ranked Mozilo second on their list of "Worst American CEOs of All Time".[2]

Contents

Life and career

Mozilo was born in New York City, the son of a Bronx butcher. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham University in 1960. In 1969, he and his former mentor David S. Loeb, who had already started a mortgage lending company, founded Countrywide Credit Industries in New York. They later moved the headquarters to Pasadena, California and then to Calabasas, California in Los Angeles County. Mozilo and Loeb also cofounded IndyMac Bank, which was founded as Countrywide Mortgage Investment, before being spun off as an independent bank in 1997. IndyMac collapsed and was seized by federal regulators on July 11, 2008.[3]

Since Countrywide was listed on the NYSE in 1984, Mozilo has sold $406 million worth of its stock, mostly obtained through stock option grants. $129 million of this was realized in the 12 months ending August 2007.[4]

In the beginning, Countrywide was a pioneer in the nation-wide non-bank mortgage industry. Mozilo was very concerned with the credit quality of borrowers and the quality of loans. When subprime came onto the scene in the late 80s (Guardian S&L) and 90s (The Money Store), his company did not participate. He privately described the subprime loan mavericks of the 1990s as 'crooks'. However, his company began to lose business to the subprime lenders. He had to compete with them, or keep losing market share. Thus, by the early 2000s, Countrywide had entered subprime, for real. [5]

Perhaps more than any single individual, Mozilo has come to symbolize, and bear the blame for, the subprime mortgage crisis. In a New York Times feature on October 20, 2008, Henry G. Cisneros, former secretary of HUD and member of the Countrywide board of directors, describes Mr. Mozilo as “sick with stress — the final chapter of his life is the infamy that’s been brought on him, or that he brought on himself.” CNN named Mozilo as one of the "Ten Most Wanted: Culprits" of the 2008 financial collapse in the United States.[6]

Compensation

Mozilo's compensation during the United States housing bubble of 2001–06 has come under scrutiny. During that period, his total compensation (including salary, bonuses, options and restricted stock) approached $470 million.[7]

His compensation also includes payment of his annual country club dues at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, CA, The Quarry at La Quinta golf club in La Quinta, CA and Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, VA.[8]

Mozilo testified before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on March 7, 2008, calling reports of their pay "grossly exaggerated" in some instances and pointing out that they lost millions as well. He defended the pay: The compensation was a function of how the company did ahead of the mortgage crisis.[9]

SEC accusation regarding insider sales

Over many years, Mozilo sold hundreds of millions of dollars in stock personally,[10] even while publicly touting the stock and using shareholder funds to buy back stock to support the share price. On June 4, 2009, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged former CEO Angelo Mozilo with insider trading and securities fraud.[11][12]

"Friends of Angelo (FOA)" VIP program

In June 2008 Conde Nast Portfolio reported that several influential lawmakers and politicians, including Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, and Fannie Mae former CEO Jim Johnson, received favorable mortgage financing from Countrywide by virtue of being "Friends of Angelo."[13][14]

Senator Dodd received a $75,000 reduction in mortgage payments from Countrywide at allegedly below-market rates on his Washington, D.C. and Connecticut homes. Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story shows on film that this was actually over a million dollars of a sweet-heart mortgage deal.[13][15] Dodd nonetheless called for stronger regulation of mortgage lenders and proposed that predatory lenders should face criminal charges.[16]

Clinton Jones III, senior counsel of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, and "an adviser to ranking Republican members of Congress responsible for legislation of interest to the financial services industry and of importance to Countrywide." was given special treatment. Jones is now state director for federal residential-mortgage bundler Freddie Mac. Alphonso Jackson, acting secretary of HUD at the time and long time friend and Texas neighbor of President Bush, received a discounted mortgage for himself and sought one for his daughter. "In 2003, using V.I.P. loans for nearly $1 million apiece, Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s chairman and C.E.O. from 1999 to 2004, twice refinanced his seven-bedroom home, which has a pool and movie theater."[16]

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's son, Paul Pelosi, Jr., also received a loan with Countrywide. Barbara Boxer, Adam H. Putnam, Richard C. Holbrooke, James E. Clyburn, and Donna Shalala are also among those with mortgages from Countrywide.

CBS News has obtained the following list of then-Fannie Mae employees whose names have been turned over to investigators as having received VIP loans from Countrywide:[17]

  • Sandra Adams: Fannie Mae Account Associate
  • Nitirwork Armstrong: Fannie Mae Director
  • Gregg Ayres: Fannie Mae Customer Acct Manager
  • Jeffrey Baker: Fannie Mae Business Analyst
  • Ingrid Beckles: Freddie Mac VP Default Mgmt
  • Cherry Billings: Fannie Mae Asst to CEO
  • Christine Buckley: Fannie Mae Sr Assistant
  • Sharon Canavan: Fannie Mae Govt Relations/Lobbyist
  • Delynn Conley: Fannie Mae Underwriter
  • Carla Corpuz: Fannie Mae Senior Underwriter
  • Tanguy De Carbonnieres: Fannie Mae Legal Counsel
  • Bernard Deane: Fannie Mae Director
  • Mollie Dougherty: Fannie Mae Sr Business Manager
  • Roy Downey: Fannie Mae Director
  • Cynthia Fatica: Fannie Mae Legal Counsel
  • Jamie Gorelick: Fannie Mae Vice Chair
  • Lizbeth Grant: Fannie Mae Director Tec/Secondary Mkt
  • Greta Hamilton: Fannie Mae Manager/Home Loans
  • Lester Handy: Fannie Mae Consultant
  • James Johnson: Fannie Mae Chairman and CEO
  • Jack King: Fannie Mae Manager
  • Karen King: Fannie Mae Credit Risk manager
  • Gerald Langbauer: Freddie Mac VP Sales
  • Derek Lowe: Fannie Mae Technician/Home Loans
  • Mary Lee Moriarity: Fannie Mae Sr Underwriter Consult/Lending
  • Daniel Mudd: Fannie Mae Vice Chair and COO
  • Paulette Porter: Fannie Mae Sr Proj Mgr/Mtg Securities
  • Alan Quirion: Freddie Mac Director
  • John Radwanski: Freddie Mac Sr Port Director
  • Franklin Raines: Fannie Mae Chairman and CEO
  • Robin Ramsay: Fannie Mae Customer Acct Manager
  • Rebecca Rosena: Fannie Mae Credit Risk manager
  • Irwin Rosenstein: Fannie Mae Ass. General Counsel
  • Robert Sanborn: Fannie Mae Vice President
  • William Shirreffs: Fannie Mae Director
  • Joseph Silva: Fannie Mae Servicing Portfolio Manager
  • Donna Simpson: Fannie Mae Customer Acct Manager
  • Michelle Sorensen: Fannie Mae Sr Business An/Mortgage
  • Mary Ann Staley: Fannie Mae Marketing Dir
  • Deborah Kay: Tretler Fannie Mae VP Risk Management
  • Kirk Willison: Freddie Mac VP Trade Relations/Dir Industry Relations
  • David Yoon: Fannie Mae Acct Associate

Other controversies

Shortly after University of San Diego invited Mozilo to be the keynote speaker at a conference for "sustainable real estate," DisinviteMozilo.com[18] was created in protest on January 10, 2008. Mozilo pulled out six days later. Shortly after that, Congress invited Mozilo to testify about his compensation.

In May 2008, Mozilo made the news by accidentally hitting "reply" instead of "forward" in response to an e-mail from a distressed homeowner named Daniel Bailey of North Carolina. Mr. Bailey had created a hardship letter to request a loan modification from Mr. Mozilo on a website forum named LoanSafe.org. Mr. Bailey then sent his request directly to the Office of the President of Countrywide and this was Angelo Mozilo's reply.

"This is unbelievable. Most of these letters now have the same wording. Obviously they are being counseled by some other person or by the internet. Disgusting."[19]

Settlement with SEC

On Friday October 15, 2010, Mozilo reached a settlement with Securities and Exchange Commission, over securities fraud and insider trading charges. Mozilo agreed to pay $67.5 million in fines and accepted a lifetime ban from serving as an officer or director of any public company; it is the largest settlement by an individual or executive connected to the 2008 housing collapse. Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said in a statement that "Mozilo's record penalty is the fitting outcome for a corporate executive who deliberately disregarded his duties to investors by concealing what he saw from inside the executive suite." By settling the SEC charges, Mozilo will avoid a trial that could have provided fodder for future criminal charges. [20][21]

This fine represents a small fraction of Mozilo's estimated net worth of $600 million. Countrywide will pay $20 million of the $67.5 million penalty because of an indemnification agreement that was part of Mozillo's employment contract. The terms of the settlement allow Mr. Mozilo to avoid acknowledging any wrongdoing.

In February 2011, the U.S. dropped its criminal investigation into the facts behind that civil settlement.

In Media

In the documentary film Inside Job Mozilo is cited as one of the persons responsible for the Economic Meltdown of 2008 and named in Time Magazine as one of the "25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis".

See also

References

  1. ^ Reckard, E. Scott (2008-07-01). "His star tarnished, Mozilo exits stage". The Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mozilo1-2008jul01,1,3461873.story. 
  2. ^ http://www.cnbc.com/id/30502091?slide=20
  3. ^ LA Biz Observed: *IndyMac taken over
  4. ^ Gretchen Morgenson (2007-08-29). "Inside the Countrywide Lending Spree". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/26/business/yourmoney/26country.html?hp=&pagewanted=all. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  5. ^ All the Devils are Here, Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, Penguin / Portfolio, 2010
  6. ^ Culprits of the Collapse
  7. ^ Wall Street Journal Reference
  8. ^ Countrywide Financial Corp Form 8-K, 9/8/2004
  9. ^ Ellis, David (2008-03-07). "Inside Mortgage mess CEOs defend pay". CNN. http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/07/news/newsmakers/ceo_pay/index.htm?cnn=yes. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  10. ^ "Why is Countrywide possibly going bankrupt?". HousingPanic. 2007-09-09. http://housingpanic.blogspot.com/2007/09/why-is-countrywide-possibly-going.html. 
  11. ^ Faber, David (June 3, 2009). "SEC Charges Ex-Countrywide CEO with Insider Trading". CNBC. http://www.cnbc.com/id/31108460. Retrieved June 3, 2009. 
  12. ^ "SEC Charges Former Countrywide Executives With Fraud" (Press release). U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 2009-06-03. http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2009/2009-129.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  13. ^ a b "Countrywide's Many 'Friends'". Conde Nast Portfolio. 2008-06-12. http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/top-5/2008/06/12/Countrywide-Loan-Scandal. 
  14. ^ Simpson, Glenn R.; Hagerty, James R. (7 June 2008). "Countrywide Friends Got Good Loans". Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121279970984353933.html?loc=interstitialskip. 
  15. ^ "Angelo's Angel". Wall Street Journal. 2008-06-19. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121383295591086669.html?mod=googlenews_wsj. 
  16. ^ a b "Angelo's Many 'Friends'". http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2008/07/16/Countrywide-Deals-Exposed?print=true. 
  17. ^ CBS, VIP countrywide list
  18. ^ DisinviteMozilo.com
  19. ^ Reckard, E. Scott (2008-05-21). "Countrywide Financial Chairman Angelo Mozilo's e-mail sets off a furor". LA Times. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mozilo21-2008may21,0,3064002.story. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  20. ^ Ellis, Blake (2010-10-15). "Countrywide's Mozilo to pay $67.5 million settlement". CNN. http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/15/news/companies/mozilo_SEC/index.htm?hpt=T2. 
  21. ^ Angleo Mozilo of Countrywide Settles Fraud Case for $67.5 Million, by Gretchen Morgenson, The New York TImes, 16 october 2010

External links


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