Monday, January 28, 2008

NYC Expands Countrywide Suit

New York City Comptroller William Thompson is suing Countrywide Financial, accusing the company of misleading its investors by “falsely representing that Countrywide has strict and selective underwriting and loan origination policies”. It was announced on Friday that the suit is being expanded, with additional company officers, directors, underwriters and accounting firms. Now that names like Grant Thornton and Citigroup are involved, this is getting serious, and even uglier than before.

It’s funny how every time anyone mentions Countrywide in an online article, there’s a burst of attention and a flurry of comments ranging from “I’m a former employee, they deserve whatever comes their way” to “I work at Countrywide, we’re all ethical agents”. I’m more inclined to believe the former, until that is proved untrue. And some of the latest news on Countrywide’s Mozilo: it seems he’s so fed up with the press commenting on his stock sales and retirement benefits, that he’s decided to forfeit $37.5 million in severance pay, but still keep the rest of the money he’s about to receive upon leaving Countrywide. Does this mean that he doesn’t think he deserves the money?

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