Friday, October 12, 2007

Countrywide: Time To Look At The Board

Countrywide (CFC) Founder/CEO/Chairman/Director Angelo Mozilo is attracting the wrath of North Carolina State Treasurer Richard Moore who has asked the SEC to investigate stock sales made by said CEO. Moore is questioning changes that Mozilo made to his arranged stock selling program that enabled the CEO to increase sales. Duh. This one has been suspicious for a long time. Most of that executive team has been unloading for a long time. These guys are good at pulling levers and operating the system.

CFC is clearly a mess. Time to look at the board’s composition. How did these supposedly intelligent guys let it get so bad.

Culprit 1 Lead Director Harley W. Snyder has been the President of HSC, Inc., His background and interests seem to be exclusive to the real estate development business. Was he too close to the situation.

Culprit 2 Remaining Directors all seem to come from wheeler dealer types of industries where connections and networks are important; Financial and Investment Services, Consulting and political appointments all figure prominently. No one really seems distinguished at operating a business.

Culprit 3 Robert T. Parry is the retired President and Chief Executive Officer, effective May 2004, of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. How do we connect these dots. A former very senior Fed Reserve guy is on the board of the company that is ground zero for the sub prime mortgage mess. I would love to see minutes of board meetings and see what remarks could be attributed to this guy.