June 16, 2008

The Wall Street Journal calls for a congressional investigation of corrupt Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo and his "Friends of Angelo" bribery scheme

Angelo Mozilo is so f*cked on so many fronts, I'm losing track.

And yet somehow The Orange One still walks the earth a free man.

I'm starting the "Angelo Mozilo Arrest Watch" today. Anyone want to predict how many more days until the cuffs come out?

Follow the money. Follow the money. It leads places that will shock even HP'ers...

Beltwaywide Financial

The Countrywide Financial sweetheart loan scandal continues to grow, spreading to Senators and other Beltway potentates
. We are about to find out if Congress's passion for investigating business ethics extends to conflicts of interest and cash that involve fellow Members.

Take Senator Kent Conrad, the North Dakota Democrat whose office issued a Friday statement saying that "I never met Angelo Mozilo." What he did not say then but admitted under later questioning by a Journal reporter is that, although he may not have had a face-to-face meeting with the Countrywide CEO, Mr. Conrad had called Mr. Mozilo and asked for a loan.

The result was a discounted loan on his million-dollar beach house and a separate commercial loan of a type that residential lender Countrywide did not even offer to other customers, regardless of the rate.

Almost as breathtaking is Senator Conrad's attempt to use a charitable contribution for the estimated amount of any mortgage savings – $10,500 – to make the issue go away. So while the Senator says he did nothing wrong, now that his nonmistake has been discovered he'll nonetheless give away the nonspecial treatment cash. There is ample evidence here to warrant an investigation, including subpoenas for relevant documents.

The same goes for Senator Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), who chairs the very Banking Committee responsible for drafting the laws that govern Countrywide's market. Mr. Dodd is still in denial mode, but so far no one has knocked down the Portfolio.com story that he received discounted loans as part of Countrywide's "Friends of Angelo" program.

In the week since the Journal revealed this program, the key questions have become clear: What did Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo receive – or think he would receive – in return for the friendly loans to politicians? And what did Mr. Mozilo get – or think he would get – in return for sweetheart loans to Fannie Mae CEOs Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines? Mr. Conrad says he called Mr. Mozilo at the suggestion of Mr. Johnson, a leading and long-time member of the Democratic Beltway establishment.

The relationship between Countrywide and Fannie Mae goes to the heart of the mortgage crisis. Fannie makes its money by borrowing vast sums at low rates (thanks to an implied taxpayer guarantee on its loans) and then using that cash to buy loans from mortgage originators like Countrywide. Fannie then holds the mortgages and earns interest on them, or pools them into securities for sale to investors.

For the sake of its shareholders and the taxpayers who are ultimately on the hook, Fannie should immediately launch an internal investigation into the terms offered to Countrywide, and exactly what role Messrs. Johnson and Raines played in the negotiation of these terms. Did these men exert any pressure on Fannie employees to do business with Countrywide?

Congress also needs a full accounting of the contacts between Countrywide and the politicians receiving favors from the lender. Did Countrywide ask for and receive assistance from the Friends of Angelo? With Senate Banking Chairman Dodd at the center of the scandal, ranking member Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.) will have to lead the inquiry.

Meanwhile, until it is clear how much Countrywide will benefit from Senator Dodd's proposed $300 billion mortgage rescue – and exactly how Mr. Dodd came to do business with Countrywide – Congress should call a halt to legislating bailouts. Taxpayers deserve no less.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like business as usual for the Libertarian/Republican gov't in Washington D.C.


Anonymous said...

The same thing is probably happening at SALLIE MAE

Anonymous said...

He looks like one of those shrunken apple head dolls that were popular in the 70's !!

Anonymous said...

Looks like Tangelo needs some moisturizer. He'll need some KY too

keith said...

Don't forget this one...


Government Intensifies Mortgage Investigation

Federal agencies are intensifying a criminal investigation of the mortgage industry and focusing on whether some lenders turned a blind eye to inflated income figures provided by borrowers.

In March, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. began investigating whether the Countrywide Financial Corporation, the troubled mortgage giant, misrepresented its financial condition and loans in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Countrywide is also under scrutiny by California and Illinois; federal prosecutors in Sacramento; and the United States Trustee, the federal agency that monitors bankruptcy courts. The S.E.C., meanwhile, is examining stock sales by certain Countrywide executives.

keith said...

Think of the bribery angle - Conrad and Dodd knew that if they went against Angelo and Countrywide, at any time he could expose that he gave them 'favors'

Oh, yes, popcorn is called for here..

Some Jiffy Pop, some Orville, some Newman's Buttered.

Anonymous said...

Well known in the business that counntrywide had special rates with Fannie that others did not, justification was "volume discounts" - no idea if it is illegal.

The entire industry is based on relationships and people calling each other up - for example - a countrywide exec calling his / her fannie buddy and asking what kind of rate they can get on such and such ...

John S said...

If key Democrats are involved, I'd wager there will be no futher investigation. It's only illegal in Washington when Republicans are caught with their hands in the cookie jar...

Peter T said...

I find myself surprised by the stupidity of US senators: Getting a cheap mortgage for your house from a bank is aequivalent to taking a gift, which is forbidden for senators for amounts of 1000 dollars and above. And the worst case is Dodd, taking a gift from a corporation he is supposed to supervise. It doesn't actually matter what Angelo Mozilo thought what he would receive - gift taking is rightfully prohibited, because it is the first step to corruption. I hope that Dodd and Conrad (despite Conrad's late attempt to correct his illdeed) and any other senator that took gifts will punished and ejected from the senate.

Anonymous said...

Funny how all of Angelo's friends are Democrats.

Funnier even still how the guy Obama chose to lead the VP search was an ex-Fannie Mae executive.

Funnier still is how you dolts are still voting for Democrats thinking they are somehow less corrupt than Republicans.

Anonymous said...

and of course the MSM is ignoring this story. had it been 2 GOP senators it would be 24/7 on CNN. But two Demo senators and it's a big yawn.

Anonymous said...

This is getting very interesting. Seems like the knives are out. Of course what I REALLY want to know is how long have people known this story and why break it now.

Refuse to buy overpriced said...

Which is tomorrow's news today?

A. President Obama pardons Angelo Mozilo.

B. Vice-President Hillary Clinton casts deciding vote in favor of massive bailout legislation. The $2 trillion package was considered so extravagant, 10 Senate Democrats broke ranks and voted against the bill, causing 50-50 tie vote. President Obama is expected to sign.

C. Bubble blogger bawls balefully.

D. All of the above.

Afterthought said...

Absolutely correct;

the dems esp. bloggers are dead silent on this.

PS on oil: is the oil being purchased with borrowed money? if so, its a dangerous bubble, if not, no dangerous bubble.

Put Bush and Cheney in the next cell... said...

Bye Bye Dickhead Orangeman.

The Big House Crew awaits your arrival.

Bring your own soap on a rope and keep your back to the wall.

Angelo, it will be a long time until you hear a wooden door close...

Anonymous said...

Now lets find out why Nancy Pelosi etal, do not want to have impeachment procedings for Bush!

Anonymous said...

you forget that the "Friends of Angelo" are the ones that write the laws

gwk said...

Maybe someday Angelo will get one of those wonderful 5-4 decisions that most on this blog cheer on but I guess if it rules in favor of him that decision will not be applauded as say enemy combatants given access to American Courts because as we know the United States is always wrong or is it just wrong when a Republican is in the Oval Office, still reading the Constitution and how about todays wonderful 5-4 immigration decision telling Congress go $#@#$#@ itself

Angelo Jr. said...

Right on Dodd! Way to go! I wish I could grow up to be a cool politician one day and have cool friends like Ange!

I would like to get on the band wagon for Dodd to be the next president, he would be the best for America!

Wow America is the greatest place to live! The politicians get richer and the rest of us starve! Good times!

Anonymous said...

crony capitalism . . . sounds kind of like China

Anonymous said...

it's sad how we went from having noble leaders like Washington and Jefferson who sacrificed for the Republic to having leaders like these clowns who loot from the taxpayers to give goodies to their friends, and laugh all the way to the bank.

gotta love the two party system

Anonymous said...

This is just lame. Aren't there less dscoverable ways to bribe?





Anonymous said...

Think of the bribery angle - Conrad and Dodd knew that if they went against Angelo and Countrywide, at any time he could expose that he gave them 'favors'

Uh, that action is a felony on both sides of the transaction.

Representative Duke Cunningham, bribee, and the briber, are both Federal inmates.

The only way it would come out is if Mozilo were already under heavy prosecution, and he offered this up in a plea-bargain.

Unless, somehow, somebody called in some favors to the DOJ? Hmmmmmmm, you think that's possible? As in "only go after Democrats" favors? You think Reptilicans are more honest than Demonrats on this?

Gee, all those US Attorneys vetted by Karl Rove wouldn't EVER DREAM of anything like that, right? Right? Bueller? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

When Dodd, Schumer, and Clinton and Franks burst frantically on the scene to put a gov't. sponsored floor under falling home prices at the first signs of the subprime meltdown, I figured it was all for their banking buddies.

Then that CA. congresswoman turned up with 3 houses in foreclosure last month and I thought, hmmmm.....wonder what Dodd, Clinton, Schumer, Franks', etc. mortgages and HELOCs look like?

Turns out I was right.

Remember this: It was DODD who came out FIRST and LOUDEST last year screaming about the need to "support the housing market".

We know that when these politicians are screaming about the "need to keep home prices high", they are going _directly against_ the interests of the average American.

The average American has been KILLED by high home prices.

But Bankers and politicians, ahh... that's another story.

We need a blog that shows what types of loans our representatives DC have against their homes. It's public info and should be posted somewhere for Americans who have been hurt by this bubble to see.

Any politician who is clammering to keep prices high is working for 1) the lenders/Wall Street or 2) him/herself.

But for sure they are NOT working for you or your childrens' interest.


Anonymous said...

Nanoo Nanoo

Orange Ya' Glad (you're not him) said...

I thought this was a "scratch and sniff" photo, but I must admit I did not use enough deoderant today...

Reality said...

"Sounds like business as usual for the Libertarian/Republican gov't in Washington D.C."

Dodd is one of the top ranking Democrats. Banksters own the Democrats, that's why they are clamoring for bailing out the banks.

Anonymous said...

Yep,the blackmail angle is very alive and kicking when a CEO of one of the most corrupt Lenders has something on Senators that are in a position to benefit that CEO with bail-outs .

The housing scandal is reading more like a novel everyday.

And what about how the Orange man pumped and dumped his stock after making loans that resulted in a very high default rate later on .

The Orange man should not of screwed his employees and stockholders so bad because the information on Dodds and other Senators came from a employee from what I understand .

Anonymous said...

and still nothing in the local media. heck, the local tv station website has 3 reports on gay marriages in CA.

Anonymous said...

Senators are not allowed to receive a gift of over 100 bucks in one calendar year in total . Federal employees cannot receive gifts ,including loan terms not generally available to the public .

Senator Dodds loan rate was reduced from 4.875 to 4.25% (which would save him $58,000.00 for the life of the loan ),and the loan fees were waves .There was also another loan with favorable terms .

The formal employee of CountryWide that expose the loans that were made said words to the effect that the "Friends of Angelo",were assured that they were receiving the "Friends of Angelo " discount and Mozilo had personally priced their loan .

This gift of a under market loan terms is a very big no no .
It would be very easy to go back in the record and see what the going rate was at the time and see if this rate was under market ,or under what the public was offered .
It would not be normal to not be charged any loan fees and it would be easy to go back in the record and see what the public was charged for the same loan . I doubt that very many people got a 4.25% fixed rate at no loan costs at that time .

Dodds can not claim ignorance of the rules on gifts . Further,it would not jive that a Senator of the Banking Committee would not know that a below market rate and no fees charged would not be a gift that the normal public would not be able to get .

Anonymous said...

Thank God that Senator Dodds was exposed before that bail-out bill was passed .

This is God Almighty exposing the Devil just in the nick of time ,but what are the other corrupt politicians going to do with this knowledge .Clearly Dodds is in a conflict of interest position and to move forward with a bill he has been pushing for a long time would look pretty funny .

keith said...


Will Barbara Boxer investigate her fellow corrupt Democrats right before the election?

We'll see...

sundry vermin said...

The guy looks like a corpse in that picture.

Anonymous said...


john s said, 11:23pm


You nailed it man!


Anonymous said...

Funny, that necktie is tight like a noose!

Anonymous said...


3" or 4" french cuffs,

What a F*G!


Agent 99 said...

Here' a little barter for you Mozilo (sounds like a kind of oil):
Cuff Links for Hand Cuffs!!! What a gavone!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there was a "Friends of WAMU" HELOC?

keyser soze said...

From the picture in this article, it appears 'time' has not been a 'Friend of Angelo'.

gutless and lazy votes out every incumbent said...

I keep saying it, at some point you will all believe me :

the greatest enemy to the welfare of the people of the U.S.A. is not Al Qeada ... it's the United States Federal Gov't.

Anonymous said...

You know how this ends, right? He skates. They always skate.