Thursday, June 4, 2009

Angelo R. Mozilo is the son of a Bronx butcher. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham University in 1960 and holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University.

In 1978 he and his former mentor David S. Loeb, who had already started a mortgage lending company, founded Countrywide Credit Industries in New York. They later moved the headquarters to Calabasas, California in Los Angeles County. Mozilo and Loeb also cofounded IndyMac Bank, which was founded as Countrywide Mortgage Investment, before being spun off as an independent bank in 1997. IndyMac collapsed and was seized by federal regulators on July 11, 2008.

Since Countrywide was listed on the NYSE in 1984, Mozilo has sold $406 million worth of its stock, mostly obtained through stock option grants. $129 million of this was realized in the 12 months ending August 2007.

Perhaps more than any single individual, Mozilo has come to symbolize, and bear the blame for, the subprime mortgage crisis. In a New York Times feature on October 20, 2008, Henry G. Cisneros, a former HUD chairman and member of the Countrywide board of directors, describes Mr. Mozilo as “sick with stress — the final chapter of his life is the infamy that’s been brought on him, or that he brought on himself.” CNN named Mozilo as one of the "Ten Most Wanted: Culprits" of the 2008 financial collapse in the United States.

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