Angelo Mozilo is in the news again. The U.S. gov is gearing up for another civil suit against him. With all the zombie references we’ve heard during the crisis, “zombie debt,” “zombie homes,” “zombie borrowers,” and “zombie foreclosure,” the real zombie behind the crisis and every other major problem in our country, is GREED.
Countrywide and Mozilo got caught red handed committing all kinds of crimes, immoral and unethical acts, including saddling people with inflated interest rates just because of the color of their skin or the country they are from, giving NINJA loans to people with the only underwriting requirement being that they have a pulse (and I’m sure there were exceptions to that too), the “hustle” program to rip off our government, Fannie and Freddie and so much more, including deceptive mortgage practices, insider trading and the newest settlement just announced the day of this posting. The state of California sued them, and so did Connecticut. Then once caught, charged and on the brink of conviction, Mozilo and Co. paid a very small fraction of their profits as a fine. Mozilo paid $67.5M in fines but made $535M during just 9 years. For them, crime pays. How could this be?!?
Apparently, greed is as intoxicating as any other vice and Mozilo and the other sociopathic criminals that run Wall Street (and our country) are able to peddle this “drug of choice” to the highest levels. It’s as if they are no different that the drug dealers and pimps who I’m sure make small fortunes peddling their vices on Capitol Hill. Only, in a battle of the vices, it’s not even debatable which is most harmful to our country. Rather than delivering dime bags and escorts, Mozilo kept his customers well supplied through one of the most notoriously well-known, insidious relationships with our government, the “Friends of Angelo” program. The result, like lab rats choosing cocaine over food, our government power players, by and large, choose greed, money and power over the job they were sent to Washington to do, serve and represent their constituents. We now see the devastating consequences of this exponentially escalating addiction. “Financial institutions” are not only too big to fail and too big to jail, they, and almost every single politician in DC, have become the greatest impediment to our right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”