Countrywide’s Mozilo speaks: “We didn’t do anything wrong”
Former CEO fights back against coming lawsuit
Six years after the financial crisis and the government is still seeking justice for the financial pain and meltdown of America’s economy.
But according to an article in Bloomberg, the Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo, seen as one of the main culprits behind the subprime crisis and speaking in a rare interview, is baffled by a new effort to punish him.
Remorse for heading a company that made so many bad loans? Not a chance.
Instead, Mozilo said he is proud of his past triumphs and it his critics who are misguided:
“You’ll have to ask those people, ‘What do you have against Mozilo, what did he do?’” Countrywide Financial co-founder Angelo Mozilo said. “Countrywide didn’t change. I didn’t change. The world changed.”
“No, no, no, we didn’t do anything wrong,” he said, adding that a real estate collapse was the root of the crisis. “Countrywide or Mozilo didn’t cause any of that.”
Countrywide, which was acquired by Bank of America (BAC) after the crisis, did $408 billion of originations in 2007 and had a $1.5 trillion servicing portfolio.
In August and more than 12 months after the deadline passed to file criminal charges, U.S. attorneys in Los Angeles announced they are preparing a civil lawsuit against Mozilo and as many as 10 other former Countrywide employees.
But this time the government is going with a different tactic, using a 25-year-old law that has helped the Justice Department win billions of dollars from Wall Street banks.