PennyMac bites back at The New York Times

The New York Times recently published an article critical of PennyMac.

Not unsurprisingly, as the article was passed among trade players on LinkedIn, the voice of objection grew louder and louder. Usually in these cases, some venting is enough to calm the nerves.

But not so. Because this time, the article is just plain wrong, they said.

The editors at The New York Times, in their defense, did correct some of the errors. Yet, it wasn’t enough.

And so PennyMac decided, in a rare move, to bite back at the New York Times.

Gretchen Morgenson’s piece “Dueling Jobs (and Big Paydays),” originally published May 18, 2013, is alleged by PennyMac to be “based on a number of erroneous statements,” and “the mistakes in this column combine to create an inaccurate and distorted portrait of the businesses and business practices of each company,” according to a statement from the company.

Most interesting is the throwaway allegation that the CEO of PennyMac, Stanford Kurland, is somehow single-handedly responsible for the sins of Countrywide:

“Mr. Kurland enjoyed a long and prosperous career at Countrywide Financial, joining the company in 1979, just 10 years after Angelo R. Mozilo and David Loeb founded it,” Morgenson charges. “From 2004 through most of 2006, Mr. Kurland was president of Countrywide as it churned out some of the stinkiest loans ever created.”

In the mortgage finance business, that is a pretty strong allegation, one to which the managers at PennyMac strenuously object.

“Mr. Kurland became President of Countrywide in 1995, not 2004 as the passage suggests,” the statement from PennyMac counters. “The commentary leaves out the fact that Mr. Kurland left Countrywide in 2006 following strategic differences with the company’s prevailing management before the company began to experience the problems that culminated in its merger with Bank of America in 2008.”

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