At last the SEC isn’t letting all the scoundrels who helped to upend the economy get away with financial murder. The WSJ reports today that the feds are about to press civil charges against the founder of Countrywide, once the biggest mortgage lender in the country and a moving force in the subprime lending industry. According to the Journal, Angelo Mozilo got a Wells notice, which informs targets of an impending government action.
The year before Countrywide was snapped up by Bank of America, Mozilo sold $130 million of stock. A year earlier, he sold $60 million. The SEC is looking into whether Mozilo traded on inside information or withheld material information from shareholders, the Journal said.
All I can say is it’s about time. Earlier today, in response to news that the White House was drafting rules on compensation for the financial services industry (The Sword of Obamacles)I lamented inaction on the villains who had walked off scot free. I don’t think the Administration should micromanage pay, but it has an important policing role.
Do you think that the feds could get other prime movers in this crisis? How about players from Merrill Lynch and Citicorp? It’s too delicious to think about. It could be part of a national catharsis. Tell me, who do you think the SEC should go after next?