If you are still wandering blind and living under the illusion that there is any difference between the Federal Government and the Wall Street Banks, please disabuse yourself of that notion. They are tied together at the hip in their campaign to drain America of every last penny of wealth. To date, how many bankers have gone to jail over the sub-prime mortgage mess? How many do you think are going to jail after Foreclosure-Gate really gets rolling?…and who did Madoff piss off?
Angelo R. Mozilo, the former chief executive of Countrywide Financial, once the nation’s largest mortgage lender, agreed to pay $67.5 million on Friday to settle a civil fraud case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission last year.
Countrywide itself is paying $20 million of Mr. Mozilo’s $67.5 million payment as part of an indemnification agreement he has with the company.
As part of the settlement, Mr. Mozilo, 71, also agreed to be permanently banned from serving as an officer or a director at any public company.
Federal authorities have been criticized for ineffectively policing Wall Street in the years leading up to the financial crisis and the settlement with Mr. Mozilo represents a significant milestone for the government.
In what universe?
Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs paid a $550 million fine to settle securities fraud charges. Securities regulators are also investigating former senior executives at Merrill Lynch for possible securities fraud.
Another piece of sleight of hand to make you believe that Goldman Sachs isn’t running the government when GS makes billions in profit each quarter.
While securities fraud cases are complex and often difficult to win, analysts have taken the government to task at times for not moving even more aggressively against Wall Street in the wake of the credit debacle.
Still, the settlement by Mr. Mozilo is the first time that a prominent executive has been penalized personally for financial excesses linked to a mortgage boom that, when it went bust, threatened to topple the economy and led to an unprecedented wave of foreclosures.
How’s this for wealth transfer?
For years, Mr. Mozilo was among the highest-paid executives in America and his S.E.C. fine is a fraction of the vast wealth he amassed running Countrywide. In one eight-year period, from 2000 until he left the company in 2008, Mr. Mozilo received total compensation of $521.5 million, according to Equilar, a compensation research firm.
I will ask again, “And why is this guy not in jail?” and/or, “is he going to jail when the total meltdown of Foreclosure-Gate happens?”