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Matt Stoller: Angelo Mozilo, Tea Partier?

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By Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. His Twitter feed is http://www.twitter.com/matthewstoller

Mozilo’s emails expose a political philosophy borrowed from Ronald Reagan.

I was combing through the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission resource materials, and I found an interesting email from former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo to his senior executives. It was written in 2004, and the main subject was the declining credit quality of loans due to heavy competition from mortgage originators.

The last part of the email, though, got very political.

I must admit that the upcoming election has exacerbated my concerns in that a Kerry win could cause a serious disruption in the economy if he is successful in rolling back a substantial portion of the tax breaks initiated by Bush. It is the wage earners $200,000 and over that are the drivers of the economy and that is the group that Kerry has stated that he will attack. This could clearly cause a major bump in the road.

As you know I have no political bias but I would be concerned about any candidate that proposes a massive wealth transfer from the people to the federal government.

I would like you to consider my concerns and let me know your thoughts.

It’s true Mozilo had no political bias in terms of who got favorable lending treatment; lots of Democrats took out low-cost Countrywide “Friends of Angelo” loans. But the rhetoric and politics he uses here are straight up Texas GOP.

The transfer of power from the people to the federal government, and with Obama, we’ve had a giant leap in that direction.

It originates, perhaps not surprisingly, from Ronald Reagan, as quoted by the “second coming of Reagan” and tea party darling Rep. Mike Pence.

The federal government has taken too much tax money from the people, too much authority from the states, and too much liberty with the Constitution.

He and Reagan were both government-haters. Now, Mozilo needn’t have worried about the 2004 election, as John Kerry voted to extend the Bush tax cuts last year and probably would have found a way to extend them as President. It is interesting that Mozilo, whose business depended on the income of people in lower and middle income brackets, felt that it was people with incomes of $200k and up who drive the economy.

As for the rest of the email, Mozilo was clearly telling his executives in private something different than he told his investors. Here’s what he told his execs.

I fully understand that our residuals have been modeled on a conservative basis but it is only conservative based upon historical performances. But the type of loans currently being originated combined with the unprecedented stretching of all aspects of credit standards could cause a bump in the road that could bring with it catastrophic consequences.

Here’s Countrywide’s 10K for 2004.

We develop cash flow and prepayment assumptions based on our own empirical data drawn from the historical performance of the loans underlying our other retained interests, which we believe are consistent with assumptions that other major market participants would use in determining the assets’ fair value.

So there you have it. Angelo Mozilo didn’t just dump hundreds of millions of dollars of stock when he secretly knew that the loans Countrywide was originating couldn’t support the stock valuation. He was also Reagan-esque as he did it.

Matt Stoller is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and the former Senior Policy Advisor to Congressman Alan Grayson.

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54 comments

  1. Cog

    It shouldn’t be for Matt Stoller, the Roosevelt intsitute, or Heritage Foundation, for that matter, to put a political spin on people who quite simply were crooks.

    In as much as the Democrats have the greater will to prosecute, why did they settle for the 40-60mm on the one person who easily could have been the poster-boy for sub-prime?

    At least we’re talking about it.

    1. Tao Jonesing

      “It shouldn’t be for Matt Stoller, the Roosevelt intsitute, or Heritage Foundation, for that matter, to put a political spin on people who quite simply were crooks.”

      That’s a fair criticism. Comparing the rhetoric of the Tea Party to Mozilla could have served a real purpose, i.e., demonstrating its double truth (one meaning for elites like Mozilla, a different meaning for the masses) and how it is used to exert influence and control. Trying to tie Mozilla back to Reagan (who I am no fan of) seems like a cheap stunt intended to incite partisan bickering.

      1. Olddeadmeat

        Indeed, enough of that already. Would very much like to see Mozilo in jail, though, along with the bankers that empowered him and the regulators that were asleep at the switch.

        1. Hacksaw

          Don’t forget the politicians who enabled him because of bribe money. Politicians, I might add, of both parties.

          1. psychohistorian

            This is the amazing success of TV propaganda. You have two parties that are supposed to represent the broad spectrum of joe6pak and instead they seem to represent mostly clones of the KOCH brothers. I wonder how that happened?

            Follow the money.

            It is time to take “money” out of public policy making power and reduce its control of societal direction…..please and thank you.

        2. Matt Stoller

          Reaganite ideology is fundamentally extractive and predatory. It’s why the rhetoric fits so naturally for someone like Mozilo. I understand why people might see this as a political attack on the Republican Party, and object to that.

          That said, that Mozilo committed most of his activities with a GOP President in charge while overseen by the most GOP-friendly of regulatory agencies (OCC) and an SEC gutted by the GOP is not entirely an accident.

          1. lambert strether

            If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it’s a duck. Or, in this case, it’s a not-very-skilfully-worked piece of legacy party propaganda.* The post is a D-supporting post because of what it says, what it does not say, and what it renders unsayable. Putting on the media critique hat some in the blogosphere used to wear before they got access:

            1. What the post says. Partisan posts always have the goal of showing “Look! Enemy A is wearing the wrong jersey!” Cherrypicking identical quotes from Enemy A and a previously demonized figure is a time-honored way to do this. (The “tell” is that the quotes are just laid alongside each other, as Stoller does here, without any showing of actual intellectual influence or provenance).

            2. What the post does not say. If we’re talking about the continuing influence of Ronald Reagan in national politics, it seems telling that while Stoller expresses concern that Mozilo quotes Reagan, there’s no discussion of Obama’s oft-expressed admiration for Reagan.

            3. What the post renders unsayable. Stoller expands in comments: “Reaganite ideology is fundamentally extractive and predatory.”

            This is simply remarkable. As a classic example of the extractive and predatory, take the bailouts, the largest upward “wealth transfer” in world history. The bailouts were a thoroughly bipartisan affair, fully supported by both legacy parties, including Obama, who whipped for the bill. (In fact, the only partisans to oppose the bill were, you got it, the hard right, bane of pearl clutchers everywhere!)

            What Stoller cannot say, and possibly cannot even imagine, is that both legacy parties are fully in support of an “extractive and predatory” neo-liberal political economy. The differences between them are largely based on cultural markers, and play out in conflicts based on “the narcissism of small diffferences” — “Look! Over there! Sarah Palin!” — that was so useful to partisans in the Balkans. Sometimes, the enemy of my enemy is also my enemy; in this case, Ds and Rs.

            So, if I want to consume sloppily worded legacy party talking points, I can go over to The Obama 527 Formerly Known As Daily Kos. I don’t need to read them here.

            NOTE * Typically, partisan operatives are parked at think tanks between elections, there to opine, supposedly objectively, on the great issues of the day, until they are hired by this or that candidate. Of course, I can’t get down to cases from the outside, so I can’t be sure that’s what’s happening here.

            TROLL PROPHYLACTIC Yes, Reagan was awful. No, I don’t support the Tea Party. Yes, Sarah Palin would probably be a worse President even than Obama.

          2. JTFaraday

            To be fair, Stoller has several times criticized the D-Party.

            Perhaps he’s just fresh off a few beers with Matty Yglesias and Ezra Klein. Those two are going to be stellar Republicans some day.

            Till then, gotta keep everyone on the reservation.

    2. Yves Smith

      I think you are really missing the point.

      You have Mozilo saying he thinks only people who make over $200K drive the economy.

      He repeatedly invokes his concern about transfers of wealth to the Federal government. This is of course given his views is really concerns about the rich people being taxed.

      But it’s perfectly OK to transfer wealth to the Federal government if it gets transferred back to the banks. That’s been the logic of the bailouts. And has Mozilo or any of the big bankers even acted humble or grateful? No, we are all supposed to serve them.

      And in case you missed it, Stoller took a swipe at Obama, who BTW considers Reagan one of his role models, Obama has said that repeatedly.

      1. Olddeadmeat

        The attitude of Wall Street bankers has been particularly obnoxious, and the easy way they seem slide back and forth from Wall Street to the White House is especially disturbing. Could we pretty please get a treasury secretary who DIDN’T make millions on Wall Street and doesn’t have an Ivy League MBA?

        As a profession, the only folks nearly as annoying are economists, present company (and many other bloggers) excepted. Not all, mind you, but quite a few have been pushing the “no one could have seen this coming” line.

      2. Fed Up

        “You have Mozilo saying he thinks only people who make over $200K drive the economy.”

        In a wealth/income inequality economy (and maybe other economies too), it is the entity that is experiencing negative real earnings growth and usually going into debt (there is another possibility besides debt) that drives the economy.

        That entity would be the lower and middle class.

        savings of the rich = dissaving of the gov’t plus dissaving of the lower and middle class

    3. Matt Stoller

      It shouldn’t be for Matt Stoller, the Roosevelt intsitute, or Heritage Foundation, for that matter, to put a political spin on people who quite simply were crooks.

      You act as though crime has no relation to politics. If both the Democrats and Republicans are culpable, then both the Democrats AND the Republicans are culpable.

      1. Fed Up

        The democrats and the republicans are both culpable because they seem to believe all new medium of exchange should be the demand deposits created from debt.

        The republicans seem to believe it should be private debt owed to the rich.

        The democrats seem to believe it should be gov’t debt owed to the rich.

  2. kevin de bruxelles

    American politics for dummies:

    Republicans

    Rhetoric: Love the rich, f*ck the rest
    Actions: Love the rich, f*ck the rest.

    Democrats

    Rhetoric: Kind of like the poor and some of the rest, f*ck the rich
    Actions: Love the rich, f*ck the rest.

    The only thing that I can say about Mozilo is that he seems to be a bit of a tard for thinking that Kerry winning the election in 2004 would have made much of a difference. Sure the rhetoric would have to adjust a little but the actions were always going to remain the “Love the rich, f*ck the rest”. And sure, the partisans on each side would have had to swap rhetorical positions like soccer players swaping jerseys at the end of a match. Deficits go from not mattering to being an existential threat and vice versa. Leaking classified information goes from being a high crime and treason that may cause a Fitzmas to being a heroic and moral act. But besides minor details like these, the US will continue its slide towards the Latin American societal model as long as the only two choices are R or D.

    1. F. Beard

      The issue should not be rich versus poor but ethical vs unethical.

      Our banking and money system is unethical; it is essentially government backed competitive counterfeiting. The rich and corporations, the “credit worthy”, are allowed to borrow at artificially suppressed interest rates thus stealing purchasing power from the poor among others.

      1. kevin de bruxelles

        To me the ideal situation is to have a balance of power, or a stalemate, between the rich and poor. But in order for this to happen both sides must continue to struggle and to improve. With both halves of society getter better, it makes sense that the society itself will advance. This was America thirty years ago, most of Europe today, as well as the more advanced portions of Asia.

        If the poor conquer the rich you get a situation like communism where while the society in theory may be just, total wealth is so low that the society as a whole suffers.

        If the rich dominate the poor then you end up with Latin America, Africa, most of the Islamic world, the more backwards portions of Asia, and increasingly the United States.

        Most non-rich Americans stopped fighting the class war thirty years ago or so. The pathologies of the poor were washed over or worse yet, normalized. Action was replaced by passivity. While the working class was getting decimated by off-shoring and third world immigration, the middle class sat back and laughed, all along believing their public sector and corporate jobs untouchable as the working class tax base below them was slowly hollowed out. Only now when these middle class zeroes see the Red Army at the gates of Wisconsin do they wake up from their slumber and realize that the lights will soon be shut off on their chimerical middle class bunker.

        1. F. Beard

          To me the ideal situation is to have a balance of power, or a stalemate, between the rich and poor.

          Both rich and poor should agree to “Thou shalt not steal”. Instead we have a balance of corruption where the rich steal via government backed counterfeiting (the FR banking system) and the poor steal some of it back via taxation and socialism.

          If we would all just agree to halt the stealing (starting with the rich first lest the poor starve), we would all be much better off.

          1. kevin de bruxelles

            I think you point out a key problem. Currently the US has an asymmetrical rule of law. The rich are able to more or less impose a rule of law on most of the rest (not so much on the very poor) while the rich enjoy impunity from crimes they commit on the rest. There are two paths to go by to correct this. In a democracy like America people have a moral imperative to work this out peacefully at the ballot box by, for example, putting aside their petty differences and creating a party (not R or D) that will impose the rule of law on the rich. If this fails and America loses its Constitution and becomes something other than a democracy, then unfortunately terror and violence are the only alternatives.

          2. Paul Repstock

            Kevin; I think both of you are close. What we really need is a new value standard. When money is so closely linked to power, there must be conflict between those who have money and those who do not. If politcians were required to take ‘vows of poverty’, we would not have the same problems we now face. This would put money back in it’s rightful place.

          3. Fed Up

            “To me the ideal situation is to have a balance of power, or a stalemate, between the rich and poor.”

            From a medium of exchange standpoint, the best way to do that is to have an all currency economy so that productivity gains and other things are divided up equally between the major economic entities and divided up equally in time.

        2. Olddeadmeat

          Democracy is the worst form of government around, except for all the others.

          If you assume the level of corruption in a nation is a constant regardless of the form of government, then I would suggest that democracy offers the advantage of spreading the corruption beyond the hands of a few in concentrated power to a much bigger slice of the population.

          There will always be unethical people, I think the best we can hope for is provide the opportunity for ethical people to rise.

          Right now, I guess we are hoping these opportunities exist with a two-party system.

          D’oh!

          1. F. Beard

            The strength of the neo-liberals is their claim to be for liberty. However, that is also their weakness since they are hypocrites. Next on their agenda, imo, is a government enforced precious metal standard for money.

          2. Pixy Dust

            “democracy offers the advantage of spreading the corruption beyond the hands of a few”
            What other alternative is there when laws become selectively enforced? At what point does the phrase “rule of law” become meaningless gibberish? When there is simply no money left in the public coffers to enforce law?

            F.Beard,
            I agree with your statement re neo-liberals claim for liberty. It’s only meant for themselves. They have trouble when their own personal acts of “liberty” has such negative ramifications for so many that there may actually be legal consequences. Thus the need for their “hate government” campaign, and promotion of lawlessness – knowing that they will be richly rewarded recipients should lawlessness come about. It’s what makes war the most profitable endeavor imaginable.

        3. rps

          “rich steal via government backed counterfeiting (the FR banking system) and the poor steal some of it back via taxation and socialism.”

          The rich steal via 1) government contracts outsourced to private industry paid by taxpayer dollars. 2) Taxpayer bailouts of failed private institutions AIG, banks, GM, clunkers program, energy efficient tax break, and an alphabet soup of save Wall St. initiatives. 3. income in offshore accounts, 4) tax loopholes for the 1%, the list is endless.

          As for the poor “stealing” Do you really think people raise their hands and say YES, I Want To Be Poor, disabled, mentally ill, widowed, old, born into wretched poverty? A wish come true to live in subsidized housing in a gang ridden ghetto (btw anyone with a mortgage is subsidized thru the interest write-off), food stamps that don’t make it to the end of the month, medicaid where Drs. and hospitals Resent your presence, and the lousiest schools for their kids who hope they’re not the next target of flying bullets. Poverty as a Goal? C’mon

          “Poverty, therefore, is a thing created by that which is called civilized life. It exists not in the natural state….Civilization, therefore, or that which is so called, has operated two ways: to make one part of society more affluent, and the other more wretched, than would have been the lot of either in a natural state….the landed monopoly that began with it has produced the greatest evil. It has dispossessed more than half the inhabitants of every nation of their natural inheritance, without providing for them, as ought to have been done, an indemnification for that loss, and has thereby created a species of poverty and wretchedness that did not exist before….” Agrarian Justice Essay, T. Paine

          1. F. Beard

            Poverty as a Goal? C’mon rps

            I never said it was a goal but technically socialism is a form of theft. However, it is one thing to steal to survive but quite another to steal to be rich. As long as we have fascism (socialism for the rich) then we should have as much socialism for the poor as necessary, I say.

            However, the ideal solution is to eliminate the fascism and let the need for socialism “wither away”.

            It [civilization] has dispossessed more than half the inhabitants of every nation of their natural inheritance, without providing for them, as ought to have been done, an indemnification for that loss, and has thereby created a species of poverty and wretchedness that did not exist before Thomas Paine

            Bingo! However, the cause is not civilization but government backed usury and theft via fractional reserve banking.

          2. rps

            “I never said it was a goal but technically socialism is a form of theft.”

            Society is Socialism. What is a society but a collective of humans who work together and share in the fruits of our creativity, productivity, labor, and Helping each other so as to promote the continuity of humanity. Together we are creative and productive. Alone we are an extinct species.

            “The rugged face of society, checkered with the extremes of affluence and want, proves that some extraordinary violence has been committed upon it, and calls on justice for redress. The great mass of the poor in all countries are become an hereditary race, and it is next to impossible for them to get out of that state of themselves. It ought also to be observed that this mass increases in all countries that are called civilized. More persons fall annually into it than get out of it.

            Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man’s own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.” T. Paine

          3. psychohistorian

            rps,

            Thank you for your comment. Your thoughtful response to the subject shows me that, IMO, mankind only has a problem of will, not any issue of maturity of character. The adults of us lesser beings, given the chance, could figure out and maintain an equitable society…..or at least, for a long time, a much better one than the global inhumanity that exists today.

  3. KnotRP

    Republican and Democratic Parties? get real…
    Corporate and Bankers Parties.
    When is the last time either party did anything for
    the bottom 99% of the country?

  4. attempter

    Is he really that stupid, or does he just feel he should be “on” even in e-mails?

    Only an idiot could think:

    1. That such parasites are the drivers of the economy, or that they’re anything but a hideous drag on the economy (and on the polity as well).

    2. That there was any serious chance at all that Kerry or Obama would do anything but continue kleptocratic business as usual.

    Indeed this sentence is true

    The transfer of power from the people to the federal government, and with Obama, we’ve had a giant leap in that direction.

    if we use people as an English language term and not in his Orwellian sense. And of course if we read “corporate/government nexus” for “government”. Mozilo (or Gaddafi) himself may not personally be among the Cool Crowd Obama worships, but e.g. Blankfein, Dimon, Hayward, and Mubarak sure are.

  5. Otishertz

    Teabaggers are comical “Made for TV” resistance. They are barely mentioned outside mainstream corporate media.

  6. readerOfTeaLeaves

    I’m still reading Michael Hudson’s “The Monsters: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America–and Spawned a Global Crisis”, and Mozillo’s life story is highlighted in an early, must-read chapter.

    Anyone who has been around local government (city, county, even state) has seen guys like Mozillo: lots of ego, love to ‘cut deals’, it’s all about them, and they think that politics is a game. Nothing more; nothing less.

    The story that Hudson tells is one in which Mozilo became so ambitious to outcompete Ameriquest that there was basically nothing so sleazy he wouldn’t try it, if he could gain ‘market share’. Raw ambition; nothing else mattered, certainly not logic nor a view of the Bigger Picture.

    The psychology that Hudson reveals (which I view as ‘criminal’, whether because it’s negligent, or short-sighted, or anti-social) is how crime becomes the norm.

    Need to get something approved? Lie to make that happen.

    The egoism, the ambition, the absence of even a nod to the health of the social or economic system that his acts were undercutting are just amazing to read.

    I highly recommend Hudson’s book, even if it were only for the account of Mozilo (and Ameriquest’s Arnall).

    These guys are ‘gamers’. They’re predatory egoists.

    For the US government to fail to nail Mozilo’s arse and pull every dime he’s ever made out of the guy really suggests that DoJ is a clown show. SOrry to be so frank, but if they can’t nail the arse of a guy this obviously sleazy, I really question what those people do with their time.

    He may be a Tea Partier today; tomorrow, he’ll be whatever he thinks is in his interests, as long as he can imagine that he’s better than everybody else. A monster.

    1. steelhead23

      Your relating of how Mozilo is type-cast, the type those in local government see daily, is spot on. I once worked in the land development business in Denver. We were planning a subdivision on a half-section of land for a developer who was soon embroiled in the Silverado fiasco. He was a big client for the company and the project was a big one. The developer wanted a certain number of units. Given local land development regulations, we couldn’t quite reach that number – close, but not quite. After patiently explaining why we couldn’t accommodate his request, he angrily asked me to look out the window at his beautiful, midnight blue Mercedes. There was a stunning blonde, about half his age, in the passenger seat. “I didn’t get that by taking no for an answer!”, he said sharply. (He did not indicate which of his “prizes” he was talking about) I got the distinct impression that he believed the land development regulations were merely opinions, or guidelines, and we had simply not developed our relationships with the regulators sufficiently (bribed perhaps?) to be very good at our business. I was fired shortly thereafter – and have never regretted it. Only Wall Street is more corrupt than land development.

  7. Dan Duncan

    This is a great post, Matt. Kudos to you.

    Seriously, I used to think you were a moron…but no longer. Not after this stellar piece of work.

    Not that leading pundit (and congressional strategist for Alan Grayson) needs my help….but here’s another possibility for your next post:
    ——
    When Roman Polanski was having sexual relations with that 13 year old, he was a card-carrying liberal.

    So there you have it. Roman Polanski didn’t just commit a disgusting, heinous act on a child. He was Clinton-esque as he did it.
    ——-

    Your gratitude isn’t necessary, Matt. Consider my tip a payback for your outstanding work here. You’ve made a great contribution to Financial Crisis Scholarship, and you should be proud.

    Plus, you just got a new fan! Can’t wait to read your next offering.

    1. skippy

      Yep Dan…just don’t forget the original judge and his antics, plus the last prosecutor, who would not rescind the TV/Media trial which with out he agreed to come back.

      You should search the web for a little know dark comedic doco about him and just about every significant political player before Obummer…the cameos!

      Skippy…Oh don’t forget the girls mom too, let drag the hole team in…eh. BTW the ethnic language tapes are helping, keep it up.

  8. craazyman

    Well, first of all, I have to commend Mr. Stoller for sifting FCIC resource materials in general and Mr. Mozillo’s emails in particular.

    That is not something I would have the focus or inspiration to do. I’m way too lazy for that, which admittedly makes me a free rider on the Truth and Justice Train when the train is running on the fuel of forensic analysis anyway.

    But what amazes me more than anything, even more than somebody sifting through FCIC resource materials — sober anyway ;) — is the lunacy that immediately erupts any time somebody tries to think in economic terms.

    It’s not just Mr. Mozillo, although his case is extreme. The $200G club pulls the economy? Really? How so, I wonder? I suppose it’s just a form of channeling on Mr. Mozillo’s part and far be it from me to criticize that. But even in chanelling you need to have some discretion about the thoughts you receive and where they come from. It’s not always from The Source.

    And since we already know there’s no such thing as evidence when it comes to economic topics, I suppose we’re left to interpret his conclusion in psychoanalytical terms — as a projection of self and a form of wish fulfillment. It functions more like a self portrait in a crudely expressive sense — a stick figure fleshed out a with heavy lurid and chaotic impasto — than it does as a form of lucid analysis, since we already know that lucidity and economic analysis are mutually inconsistent. LOL.

    There are certain personalities for whom the world is a mirror and only a mirror. It seems they are in charge, almost everywhere. And while an analysis of how this came to be is another topic entirely, and the phenomenon may be an inevitable expression of the life force, it’s nevertheless interesting to speculate why such a phenomenon develops at all in the way it does. And why it hold such a grip on the minds of people everywhere.

    1. psychohistorian

      Its holds a grip on society because those in charge pay a lot to keep the propaganda wurlitzer going……the dissonance is getting a bit loud but they hold all the cards so BTSOOM what will happen next.

      BTSOOM = Beats the shit out of me.

  9. prostratedragon

    Ah, but that old swarm is a mere shadow of its former self …

    I used to think Mozilo’s flamboyance was meant as a salient attack point, which could be turned into cover for more of these fellows to escape under, as a trial could have been a very loud affair. I pretty much threw it in as a betting proposition when he skittered away to BofA.

    America sure was a nice idea.

  10. steelhead23

    I fully understand that our residuals have been modeled on a conservative basis but it is only conservative based upon historical performances. But the type of loans currently being originated combined with the unprecedented stretching of all aspects of credit standards could cause a bump in the road that could bring with it catastrophic consequences.

    Mozilo is so clearly a crook that it makes my head spin that he is not sporting an orange jumpsuit to go with his nice tan. That statement, combined with the performance of the mortgages he sold to Fannie and others, is a clear indication of an intent to defraud. Catastrophic consequences indeed! Dear Tony, While the U.S. government has determined that extraction of your weekly allowance is sufficient punishment for your crimes, others seem to disagree. Given this outrage, your appearance, in public, without a substantial human shield could have catastrophic consequences.

  11. rps

    “Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.”

    “Interested men, who are not to be trusted; weak men who cannot see; prejudiced men who will not see; and a certain set of moderate men, who think better of the European world than it deserves; and this last class by an ill-judged deliberation, will be the cause of more calamities to this continent than all the other three.” Thomas Paine

  12. George Bittlingmayer

    This is so confused. Mozilo was either delusional or a crook, and he said something about politics that echoed something that Ronald Reagan said. So? If Mozilo had also said you should brush your teeth every day, would you stop brushing your teeth?

  13. F. Beard

    What is a society but a collective of humans who work together and share in the fruits of our creativity, productivity, labor, and Helping each other so as to promote the continuity of humanity. Together we are creative and productive. Alone we are an extinct species. T Paine via rps

    I certainly agree but of course the devil is in the detail.

    But have no fear of liberty. The neo-liberals are hypocrites. They don’t really want liberty except of course for themselves.

    As I said, their next major goal is government recognition of gold as money. They claim to be against government except insofar as it advances their goals, one of which is absolute control of the money supply.

    1. hermanas

      Good point! The way to quiet them is to say, “Your money is no good here and I can’t eat your gold, get lost.

      1. F. Beard

        You won’t have a choice! The gold-bugs aim to make gold legal tender for government debts. You’ll have to buy gold from them to pay your taxes if they have their way. They want fiat gold!

        1. hermanas

          Here I was about to apologize for my intemperate comments yesterday and you’re setting me off again. I saw the NY.Times this morning about kids trying to farm. God be with them.

  14. LeeAnne

    Its funny how all of this commentary rests on taking seriously the thoughts of a sleezy ugly killer crook who couldn’t get past the rope of a downtown disco in spite of being made enormously rich by his sleezy but better-looking-on-TV counterparts in the federal government who have however, in the current context of corporate media and think tank capture are likewise looking creepy and ugly indeed.

    Looks do matter. Look at Reagan -made for TV, and Obama.

  15. lambert strether

    Basically, what George Bittlingmayer said.

    If I want to read sloppily developed and tendentious talking points, I can go to the Obama 527 Formerly Known As Daily Kos. I prefer not to read them here.

    TROLL PROPHYLACTIC Yes, Mozilo is a crook and a thief, and richly deserved his prosec– oh, wait….

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