Angelo Mozilo, the founder and CEO of Countrywide Financial, the largest mortgage lender in the United States, spoke out about subprime lending and the current mortgage crisis in a speech to fellow mortgage bankers in New York.
Not surprisingly, Mozilo placed the blame on regulators, crooked real estate prospectors, and the Federal Reserve, absolving his company and other lenders.
Mozilo felt the Federal Reserve was partially to blame for the series of seemingly never-ending interest rate hikes that eventually subdued the white-hot mortgage industry.
Falling home prices and shady real estate prospectors were also on the blame list, contrasting popular opinion which places the collapse firmly upon loose lending practices and high-risk, misleading loan programs.
Mozilo also commented on possible government regulation to get the mortgage industry back on its feet, again directing the blame away from lenders.
Countrywide clearly doesn’t want any new legislation to abound while it picks up the spoils from fallen competitors as it continues to expand and hire more employees.
And even if things do change, we can be sure that the banks and lenders will be quick to respond with innovative products and programs that conform to the revised guidelines.
It seems the mortgage game hasn’t really changed, just the same story on a smaller scale as more and more mortgage casualties reduce the size of a once vibrant industry.