Quantcast

The Worst? Yes, but Before That, the Best

DEC 20, 2012 2:16pm ET
Print
Email
Reprints
Comments (3)
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook
Google+

WE’RE HEARING about Angelo Mozilo, who is back in the news, courtesy of a just-released court transcription that shows him to be a couple of light years off the beam, describing his failed Countrywide Financial Corp. as a “world-class” lender.

I’ve spoken to a dozen mortgage lenders and vendors about Mozilo over the course of a few recent trade shows, and you know what? Every one of them agreed with me when I put forth my formulation on him: “Before Angelo Mozilo was the worst mortgage banker in the country, he was the best mortgage banker in the country.”

The word “tragedy” gets thrown around a lot, but I think it’s true in Mozilo’s case. A tragedy involves the fall of a formerly great man or woman. And that’s what happened in his case. You have to be great. Mozilo was. (The fall of a Stalin or a Hitler isn’t a tragedy because they weren’t great men.) And you have to fall from a great height. Mozilo did.

What did Mozilo do to become a great mortgage banker? For one thing, he thought big. He strove for a “countrywide” presence like a Bank of America had, or a Nationsbank. And he got there. He had a sensible view of expansion, preferring to grow his servicing portfolio through originations rather than buying portfolios or whole companies. That was smart.

He was the first mortgage banker to take his company public, and for a long time the only one. His hedging strategy was legendary, and urban legend made it into something like a mortgage Coca-Cola formula. (Actually, he was good, but not perfect on judging market swings.) He was also a champion for mortgage technology, at one time calling Countrywide a technology company that also made mortgages.

He targeted Hispanics for mortgages through the Federal Housing Administration’s programs. Nowadays, targeting populations has a bad connotation, but it is not always predatory lending. Mozilo targeted Hispanics as an underserved market that he reached out to provide reasonable loans that had a reasonable assumption they’d be paid back. This is the very model of a great mortgage banker. At one time, yes, Countrywide was a world-class lender.

What did Mozilo do to be the worst mortgage banker in the country? He stayed at the dance too long (he tried to retire at one point and couldn’t) and his competitive juices got stirred by the legions of subprime mortgage lenders all around him in the OC. And he bested them in all the worst ways.

Mozilo’s tragic fall should not hold him blameless for the many homeowners who suffered from Countrywide’s bad lending practices. They deserve redress. But let’s take just a minute to remember his former greatness.

My last memory of Mozilo comes from an MBA trade show, can’t remember which year now. I was walking by Countrywide’s booth and it was being manned by one lonely company rep. And that rep was the CEO, Angelo Mozilo. That was Angelo Mozilo doing what came naturally to him, always minding the store.

STARTING TOMORROWBrian Collins and I are combining forces to bring you a weekly report which will draw on our total of more than 50 years covering the mortgage business, me as the editor of National Mortgage News, and he as senior editor and DC bureau chief. Look for a lively mix of Beltway and national news culled from the most knowledgeable sources we know!

Comments (3)
A very balanced and well written article that I believe that Angelo Mozillo would agree on most of the points. Great Job.
Posted by | Friday, December 21 2012 at 2:57PM ET
It would have been great if it hadn't been so bad. Let's hope we are the winners this time and we don't go down a path that leads to the destruction of the worlds economy. This happened in the Great Depression, 2008, will probably happen in another 90 years.
Posted by | Friday, December 21 2012 at 5:00PM ET
STAR TIME MONEY LOAN
1217 Opal Drive
Fox Milne,
Milton Keynes,
MK15 0ZR.
United Kingdom.
Email: startime_moneyloan@wss-id.org
Mobile: +447042035199

We are here to introduce a loan program that will help improve your financial situation, economic and relieve you of all financial crises.

Loan request: You have to be able to articulate how much your business needs, how the loan funds will be used, the type of loan request you need, and how much capital you have on hand.

Specialized in providing loans from the range of EURO 5,000 and above all, as car loan, we offer loan in the short and long term for customers at a rate of 3% etc.

We give out our Loan in USD($) and GBP(pound) and any currency of your choice.

* Are you financially tuned down
* Do you need funds to pay off credits and debts
* Do you need finance to set up your own business
* Are you in need of private or business loans for various purposes
* Do you need loans to carry out large projects

We offer the following types of loans:

*Commercial Loans.
*Personal Loans.
*Business Loans.
*Investments Loans.
*Development Loans.
*Acquisition Loans.

If you really acknowledge this content, you are to send the details information to the account overleaf.


(1) Full Name:

(2) Loan Amount Needed:

(3) Duration of Repayment:

(4) Country:

(5) Marital Status:

(6) Gender:

(8) Age:

(9) Occupation:

(10) Mobile:


PAYMENT OPTIONS:

Payment by bank to bank transfer 48 hours
Payment by bank certified check 9 days

- The First option which is by bank to bank transfer, loan
funds are transferred directly into your account with the aid of our
bank,

- As for the last option, a certified check is made out by our bank as a
draft, which can be cashed by clients anywhere in the world, it takes
4 working days to get to the applicant and 5 days for the check to be
cleared.

Response,

Thanks.

Mr. Rodney Hayne
CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER
Enjoy Online Banking and Best Services Offer!!!
Posted by | Friday, January 11 2013 at 11:01AM ET
Add Your Comments:
Not Registered?
You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.
Already registered? Log in here
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.
Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Already a subscriber? Log in here
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.