It is the worst deal in the history of American finance. Hands down.UNC-Charlotte finance professor Tony Plath • Discussing Bank of America’s buyout of Countrywide four years ago, which made the company one of the biggest mortgage lenders in the world just as the market was going bust. Gotta love the timing. The company has lost roughly $40 billion (and counting) on the deal, and its stock price, which once neared $40, closed at roughly $8 at the end of Friday trading. But on the other hand, perhaps it wasn’t all bad for the economy — see, the deal put Countrywide in the hands of another company which was slightly less likely to fail. While the deal was clearly a bad move for Bank of America, the economy might not have recovered as easily if Countrywide totally crashed and burned.
emptybrackets says: it seems a little disingenuous to me to call 335m “massive” considering the scale countrywide and boa operate on
» SFB says: Well, considering it’s the “largest residential fair-lending settlement in history,” as the source article puts it, there’s not another settlement of this type bigger than this one, so that’s why we called it a “massive” settlement. And let’s face it, $335 million is not something the average person has lying around. — Ernie @ SFB
» They allegedly steered minorities towards bad mortgages. The company, something of the focal point of the subprime housing scandal, now has to face the music. Bank of America, the parent of Countrywide Financial, had to settle claims from before it purchased the company, a four-year period during the housing boom when loans were handed out very easily. In the case of Countrywide, however, there is evidence that while white homeowners got offered normal mortgage, black or Latino homeowners of similar stature received a subprime mortgage instead, meaning that they were given higher interest rates and unfavorable terms for loans, making it easier to default. As part of the settlement with the Justice Department, the company denied the charges, while Bank of America distanced itself from the housing-boom-era actions
Defendants were engaged in a massive scheme to manipulate and deceive investors, like AIG, who had no alternative but to rely on the lies and omissions made.A legal complaint filed by AIG • Revealing that the company, which still has a freaking massive taxpayer bill to pay off, plans to sue Bank of America for $10 billion dollars, claiming “massive fraud” on the mortgage debt AIG insured while the companies Countrywide and Merrill Lynch were still independent. (To put it simply, AIG feels that the companies lied about the quality of the debt, making them sound better than it was.) AIG is still working on paying back roughly $182.3 billion in bailouts, so the $10 billion would help. source (via • follow)
» Why such a big charge? Apparently, someone at Bank of America (or Countrywide) was really bad at doing paperwork, or was trying to push through half-baked mortgages. Because both were named as factors in creating the huge charges which resulted from investors making claims against them. Most of the fees are headed to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, by the way. Had this charge (and a separate $2 billion goodwill charge related to the Countrywide merger) not been there, Bank of America would’ve been profitable in the fourth quarter.
You know Countrywide? Of course you do, if you have any knowledge of big evil companies that screwed millions of good people by convincing them to get into subprime mortgages. Before the proverbial doo-doo hit the fan, the company’s former CEO, Angelo Mozilo, cashed out big time, using his insider knowledge to ensure a big payday. Now, a couple years after the fact, the SEC twisted his arm until he agreed to forfeit a bunch of that money. The details: