September 27, 2006

Oh, the humanity. Countrywide cuts 6,000 more jobs, but more importantly, no more Free Donut Fridays

No more free donuts! I'm outta here!

My only question is what do the other 56,000 Countrywide employees do now that housing has fallen off the cliff? Well, besides read HousingPanic at work and get their resumes ready?

My prediction - 30,000+ Countrywide layoffs by the time this meltdown is over, seeing that they added 22,000 since 2003 alone. Easy come, easy go.

Oh, and more importantly, and more sadly, I'd predict two layoffs at the local Calabasas donut shop.

Countrywide Financial Corp., Calabasas, Calif., the nation's largest residential lender, has confirmed that it will cut up to 10% of its "general and administrative" work force in the coming months.

A Countrywide spokesman confirmed the job cuts to MortgageWire but could not offer a head count for the reduction. Layoffs have already begun, he said. Countrywide employs about 56,000 nationwide. He stressed that the layoffs -- which the company hopes to achieve mostly through attrition -- will not affect the lender's sales staff.

One source told MW that the company has even canceled its regular practice of providing employees with free doughnuts on the last Friday of every month.


David said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David said...

Yikes! Watch Out OC!

Butch said...

Perhaps CFC will hand out the same advice that some of the other companies are handing out to soon-to-be-ex employees, such as:

1. Learning how to dumpster-dive for dinner.

2. How to fit a family of four comfortably in a cardboard box.

3. Selling your kidney at the highest price in India.

4. Fifty ways to prepare your pets for dinner.

5. How to safely burn your furniture for hear in your soon-to-be repossesed home.

And other helpful hints for surviving the coming Great Depression II

Anonymous said...

Sales staff is safe....whew.


Anonymous said...

Butch, Do you expect a great depression in 2008?

Anonymous said...

Butch, Do you expect a great depression in 2008?


Butch can you predict tonights lottery Numbers?

tabasco jenkins said...

It's Worldcom all over again. They cut out free coffee just before the company imploded.

Anonymous said...

They seem to have a great deal of money to advertise on TV. Last night I was flipping through the channels and must have seen the "Combo Loan" commerical at least a half dozen times on different stations.

Anonymous said...

What a steaming pile of horse manure! I've got an idea, why don't you grifters keep your hands off the pension fund and I'll buy my own damn donuts, mm kay? What does that cost, two dollars a head once a month to keep the employees fat and happy? Pretty good investment, I'd say.

Anonymous said...

Nasdaq $COMPX closed the gap of 2270,now is all down from here.
Oil bottomed at $ 60 ,now will re-test the 75 $ level.
I'm expecting some stock market drop from here,CFC looks like good short into 20's...

Anonymous said...

Tabasco, Do you really have to comment on every post keith has?
Give it a rest.

Trevor Cordes said...

FLASH! Don't believe the NEW HOME stats today! As in previous months, the revisions to the prior months mask the real story. The headline number touted by the MSM is 4.1% increase in new home sales in August. But concurrently July was revised down from 1072 to 1009: 5.9%! June and May were also revised down. So while MSM claims triumph and an excuse to drive the DJIA to an all-time high, the truth is really ugly.

I just hate how these statisticians blatantly lie every month on these numbers by constantly downwardly revising the previous month. In essence they are getting the negativity in the prior number for "free". Heads they win, tails you lose. Given the large margin of error, how come the number is never reported *lower* than it really is and then revised *up* the next month? Strange how that has not been happening recently. Coincidence? I think not.

New home sales SA:
May 1101 1130 2.5% lie
Jun 1091 1120 2.6% lie
Jul 1009 1072 5.9% lie!!
Aug 1050

Months supply based on the July revision hit 7.0! August is reported as 6.5. Anyone want to bet that when the Sep numbers come out that the "surprise" downward reivision to Aug makes it truly ugly? Over 7.0 supply? Under 1000 units?

Butch said...

Anonymous wrote:

"Butch, Do you expect a great depression in 2008?"

(Reply): Anon, I have been expecting a great depression for twenty-five years. And every time I think "Okay, this is it!", the criminal Federal Reserve, Fedral Government--and now, OTHER central banks and governments--find a way to pull it out, create more debt and derivatives, and continue the game for another few years.

However, at SOME point the system WILL reach terminus.

It's just hard to predict when.

Yet, there are a few clues that might help us solve the puzzle.

Such as:

1. The U.S. in aggregate is piling up $5 TRILLION in additional debt each and every year over and above the $43 TRILLION now currently owed to the world.

2. Asain Central Banks are sitting on over $2 TRILLION in U.S. dollars/assets.

3. The rest of the world holds about another $2 TRILLION.

4. The housing bubble (which is the LAST of the "collateralized" bubbles) is clearly busting. My predictions have been that $3 TRILLION in debt is gonna be wiped out/monetized and another $5 TRILLION or so in "paper wealth" (home "equity", MBS, derivatives payments) is gonna get wiped out.

5. With $10 MILLION homes dumped back on the market, I can understate that this won't be good for the economy.

6. Nor will it be good if the MBS holders are wiped out.

7. As I have already stated ad nauseum over the last few days, the Fed/feds are gonna pull out all the stops to fight the bust.

8. But what will our "debt enablers" (the Asian central banks) do with all their worthless MBS? Will they still buy more? Will they demand a 20% interest rate?

9. Not to mention that Baby Boomers have a "date with destiny" in that they will be retiring and selling homes, cashing in IRAs/401(k)s, depressing markets while:

10 Simultaneously putting a terrible financial burden on the already-borrowed-into-bankruptcy Social Security system.

So, depression, hyperinflation, stagflation--just pick your "flation".

But I DON'T see any rosy scenarios going forward over the next few years.

Do you?

tabasco jenkins said...

Anonymous, Wednesday, September 27, 2006 3:34:34 PM

Uh, okay. Tell ya what...when you stop commenting, Anonymous, so will I.

Anonymous said...

Don't fret the stats.

Whatever will happen is going to happen despite any reporting errors.

The longer the truth is put off, the harder the crash will be.

Just as long as it occurs before my put options expire, I'll be happy.

Anonymous said...

I'm already stalking my prey.

The exact new house I want.

Zillow is great.

The owner paid 480,000 for it and it's now worth 527,000 (according to Zillow) and going down weekly.

Research done at the county tax web site shows who the owner is.

Research on him shows his income barely able to keep up.

My only problem is, "how soon should I pull the trigger?", since someone else might buy this house before I do.

Well, I'm not going to worry. There are plenty of other houses just as good that will be distressed sales soon.

Mr Vincent said...

Cutting off the supply of Fat and Sugar just when they need it most -pounding the pavement, going to 5 job interviews per day.

How mean CW!

fish said...

Forget all this chat about an upcoming economic crash........Somebody tell how to short Donut makers!

Anonymous said...

Butch, #10. for the first time in 90 years, the United States is paying more to foreign creditors than it receives from its overseas investors.

Anonymous said...

Or, could it be that Countrywide has automated the process to the point they can get rid of all those chairwarmers and still do the same volume of business?

Anonymous said...

With any luck those job cuts will further knock down the home prices in Calabasas.

I've been following the Calabasas market since I sold in Westlake in November. I would like to buy there some day. They have some beautiful communities. One community was starting at $3.0 million in December. It's now starting at $2.1.

Anonymous said...


krn said...

Butch: I figured you have been anticipating (not in a positive sense) the grand reversal of the Fed's money printing scheme ever since you mentioned Ruff. But listening to Ruff or Prechter or James Dale Davidson and moving to a bunker and growing your own vegetables 25 years ago would not have been the most constructive position to take. (Unless one really hates an awful lot about the developed world and belongs out there anyway) It's hard to argue against when it goes, there won't be any place to hide. But it's also been said, "Never bet on the end of the world. It only happens once and it doesn't pay up".

So hope still springs eternal with me. You've said, and I agree wholeheartedly, that the government and/or Fed won't take this lying down. With one hand, they wipe out M3 data, tlak big about reining in Fannie Mae and with the other, they simultaneously open up the spigots.

I'd like to find a discussion site that gets into the nitty gritty of this and is free of people who have not yet attained puberty. And judging by the interest here in your posts, I'm not alone in my quest. Does something like that exist? I keep finding ones that push inflation or deflation and are rife with posters seeking attention and have time to waste. I'd like to find a site that approaches this more like a game of chess than a wrestling match.

There's an awful lot of fiat money out there. Where will it go to next? We get clues. Several years ago, Greenspan told the banks "not to be too sensitive of borrower's qualifications." And guess what? Suddenly loans were being pushed at ANYBODY.

Bernanke has said something about being able to buy assets. The question is - what are they going to be buying? They can't support everything. Some things will be allowed to fail but what - strategically - are they going to support? Where are people with open minds discussing this? Focusing on a price decline in the SFH is focusing on the past.

tables said...

The owner paid 480,000 for it and it's now worth 527,000 (according to Zillow) and going down weekly.

If you mangle his legs with a baseball bat it will surely speed along the process.

Richard said...

Anonymous said...

"...someone else might buy this house before i do."

this is the typical mistakes buyers often make. instead of running the numbers, they let their emotions control them. on the other hand, if you really like the house (i.e.floor plan, location, etc.) and can afford the payment and more importantly, have the mentality of home first and investment second, why not. i think, as long as you intend to live there and call it home and not pay attention to the ups and downs of the housing market, then go for it. however, if you have the tendency to whine later, why is it that your house drop in value, consider your last paragraph; meaning "take your time."

Anonymous said...

What does Countrywide do? Are the a baked food company? Why did they start selling donuts and what has that go to do with this board?

Anonymous said...

It's a new paradigm, and everybody who doesn't buy, now, will be priced out forever. Anybody who does buy will be rewarded with a lifetime of riches, as their property will continue its 30% yearly price increase.

Renters, and anybody born in a future generation, will not be able to afford a $10,000,000 starter home in 15 years. They will live in tent cities, and Hondas.

This asset bubble is different than all of the others - it will never slow down, or pop. The gains are permanent.

Anonymous said...

Krn, That site your looking for is:

LauraVella said...

Anon said:"Research on him shows his income barely able to keep up".

I'm courious, what kind of research? I know the county website does show name,property taxes and payment, is there anywhere else to track status?

I have my eye on a couple of homes myself...

Mike-Money said...

Did anyone else notice that
Technical Olympic USA's stock price dropped over 12% today? Technical Olympic USA is a leading homebuilder in the United States. They blamed it on an over a supplied housing market in Florida.

47jim said...

hey anonymous, quick story re. westlake village. co-worker in 1973-74 asks me if i would like puchase a house in a new community just south of thousand oaks. i said, are kidding me way the hell out there. it would take us over an hour to get to work.(la)no way. it turned out to be first phase westlake village. price $50.000 no joke.

Anonymous said...

You are clueless sir and you should consult a fact checker.

Anonymous said...

"Research on him shows his income barely able to keep up."
YOu are full of shit. How can you 'research' what his income is?

Anonymous said...

Countrywide sent a memo to the employess informing that the cutting of free donut Friday was in the interest of keeping the employes healthy. Many other cuts have been made including but not limited to, no pension for new hires, which began Jan of 06, company match for charitable donations has been significantly decreased, cut backs in health care and referral bonuses. It has been ugly, very very ugly. But ugly is what make business successful, so what has to be done, has to be done.

Anonymous said...

Franklin Roosevelt championed re-armament and led the nation away from isolationism as the world headed into World War II. He provided extensive support to Winston Churchill and the British war effort before the attack on Pearl Harbor pulled the U.S. into the fighting. During the war, Roosevelt, working closely with his aide Harry Hopkins, provided decisive leadership against Nazi Germany and made the United States the principal arms supplier and financier of the Allies who defeated Germany, Italy and Japan. Roosevelt led the United States as it became the Arsenal of Democracy, putting 16 million American men into uniform.