May 26, 2008

Angelo Mozilo on the drive to homeownership and Countrywide's exposure to subprime

Bartiromo: How exposed is Countrywide to the subprime mess?

Mozilo: In 2006 subprime loans were about 9% of our total business, now down to 7%. We're a prime lender...but we also have been on a mission...to try to increase home ownership opportunities for minorities and low-income borrowers. So it's distressful to me personally to see the piling on that's taking place by the media and regulators. This was a system that was working very well, providing an opportunity for people to get over that barrier of entry to owning a home. Now what you've had is panic setting in, and [the subprime story] is leading every newspaper. It's like there's no war going on in Iraq.

Bartiromo: Do you worry that the subprime fallout will bleed into the prime mortgage market?

Mozilo: I don't think it's going to bleed substantially into prime.

~ Angelo Mozilo, interview with Maria Bartiromo, "Inside the Mortgage Crisis," BW, March 26, 2007

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