C) Not soon enough
Here's another couple of stinging exposes of The Orange One by Bloomberg and Krugman at the NY Times. Nice to see (again) the MSM catch up to HP. I especially liked the point that the damage caused by Mozilo to Americans (and foreign investors) is SIGNIFICANTLY worse than anything Ebbers or Lay did. SIGNIFICANTLY worse.
Note I'm short CFC via Oct puts.
Countrywide CEO sold big as stock dropped - Quick changes in Mozilo's trading plan raise red flags, experts say. The mortgage firm says the sales were in line with company policy.
As the mortgage industry swooned in late 2006 and 2007, Countrywide Financial Corp. Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo cashed in stock options valued at $138 million -- vastly expanding his wealth even as his shareholders watched their stock shrink in value.
"There is clearly no legal prohibition of altering your plan," said David Priebe, a Bay Area attorney who has helped set up more than 50 of such plans for executives. "But the more that you modify or add to your plan over a short period of time, the more risk that someone will call it into question. I would not say that you cannot do it. I would say there is a risk if you do do it."
And now here's Krugman highlights:
Enron’s Second Coming?
These days, of course, Mr. Mozilo doesn’t look like such a wonderful guy, after all. Instead, he’s starting to bring back memories of other people who used to be praised not just as great businessmen but as great human beings — people like Enron’s Ken Lay and WorldCom’s Bernie Ebbers.
So far, nobody has accused Mr. Mozilo of breaking the law. Still, what we’re learning from the housing mess is that the crisis of corporate governance, which made headlines in the early years of this decade, never went away.
Still, how can it be that so soon after Enron, WorldCom and other scandals rocked the business world, we’re once again hearing about executives cashing in just before their companies are revealed as less successful than advertised? The answer, of course, is that we never dealt properly with those scandals.
There is one big difference this time: the number of victims — misled borrowers, homeowners whose neighborhoods are being destroyed by foreclosures, investors who thought they were buying safe assets — is even larger.