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Lessons Angelo Mozilo Learned From The Housing Bubble

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Lessons Angelo Mozilo Learned From The Housing Bubble

The SALT conference is a gathering of the most well-known executives in finance, policy, economics and beyond.

Former Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo spoke there Wednesday about his alleged responsibility for the housing market crash.

Who He Holds Responsible

The answer: everybody and nobody. “I had a trader come in and said the market was completely shut down,” Mozilo said of the financial crisis.

And it kept progressing from there.

“Foreclosure started, and if real estate values didn’t crash, this wouldn’t have happened; but once it did, it was a perfect storm.”

Banks, governments and cities were leveraged by this point, Mozilo said. “But somehow, for some reason, I got blamed for it.”

How He Views Countrywide's Impact

“I am emotionally attached to Countrywide because we were so large and so visible, so we were an easy mark.”

How He Would’ve Done Things Differently

The 80-year-old former CEO said he would have worked to remain out of the limelight while he was leading the company, good or bad. “I wouldn’t have been as visible and I wouldn't have showed up and been the target.”

Being the target of blame took a toll on the former executive and his family, resulting in sleepless nights and emotional and physical stress, he said, adding that people would show up at his house at all hours of the night.

Revenge

“I don’t seek revenge,” Mozilo told the crowd at SALT.

“A lot of people got hurt, specifically those who lost value on their homes," he said. 

“This is the only generation in the country that valued buying a house as an investment, rather than just buying a home.”

His Advice For America

“The most frustrating thing is now we have two political parties beating each other up just for the sake of it," Mozilo said.

The former CEO told the SALT conference that his hope is that leaders will work together to find policies and innovations to better the country for generations to come.

Related Links:

SALT Panel Discusses How Creating An Inclusive Workplace Bolsters Productivity

The Positives And Negatives Of Reinvesting In Opportunity Zones

Posted-In: Angelo Mozilo SALT 2019 SALT ConferenceNews Events Real Estate Best of Benzinga

 

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