Chain of Blame

How Wall Street Caused the Mortgage and Credit Crisis Copyright 2008 by Paul Muolo and Mathew Padilla. All rights reserved. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. Published simultaneously in Canada. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright...

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As a management trainee for Beneficial Finance in the 1960s, Cugno knew what risk was all about. He lived it. When Cugno started out his career in the subprime mortgage business, he was what some people called a repo man. In street terms not Wall Street terms, that is , a repo man was someone who took back items from deadbeat borrowers. He was someone who repossessed items by any means necessary usually legal .3 Back then the word - ubprime didn 't exist, and the last thing in the world a...

Countrywide Credit Borrowed From Bank Of America

Beneficial's success was lost somewhat on Angelo Mozilo. In the early to mid-1970s he and his partner, David Loeb, were busy managing a very young mortgage banking company called Countrywide Credit Industries, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1969, raising 450,000. They were hoping for 3 million. The two men, who had met while working for a home lending company that Loeb owned part of, launched the first version of Countrywide on Loeb 's kitchen table in his apartment at 99th...

Angelo Speaks the Worldwide Contagion Begins

The mortgage business is the only business I know where you earn a ton of money in one year and give it all back during the next three. The earnings conference call between the chief executive officer and the Wall Street community is a delicate kabuki where bad news is often couched in somber tones and fuzzy adjectives to soften the blow. But don 't tell that to Angelo Mozilo the Bronx-born, perpetually tanned CEO and co-founder of Countrywide Financial Corporation, America's largest home...

The Repo Man Meets the Bald Granny

In the summer of 2007, Angelo Mozilo 's bluntness about the sorry state of the mortgage and housing markets caught many in the industry by surprise, especially Merrill Lynch amp Company and its CEO, Stanley O ' Neal, who five short months earlier had spent 1.3 billion to buy First Franklin Financial Corporation of San Jose, the fourth largest originator of subprime loans in the land. The seller was National City Corporation of Cleveland, a commercial bank that eight years earlier had bought...

Cast of Characters

Descriptions include only information that is relevant to the stories in this book. Roland Arnall founder of Ameriquest Mortgage, Long Beach Mortgage, and other subprime lenders chairman, Ameriquest Capital Corporation. Eric Billings co-founder, chairman, and chief executive of investment banker Friedman Billings Ramsey FBR . Michael Blum managing director in charge of global asset-based finance at Merrill Lynch. Ralph Cioffi founder and senior portfolio manager of Bear Stearns two subprime...