Countrywide Financial (NYSE: CFC ) CEO Angelo Mozilo seems to like to cultivate a no-holds-barred image. Of course, this is easier to do when you have an ex-football player do the shouting, while your typical interview schedule involves sitting under the soft focus filter and fielding fluffballs from Maria Bartiromo.
On Friday, after market close, Mozilo lived up to the oiliest of Wall Street standards of conduct by trying to drop the hard truth into the news wire while everyone's ordering drinks. In this little after-hours press release, the Countrywide CEO warns the investing world that, once again, he'll be dumping shares of his company -- just as he's asking employees to take loyalty oaths.
Not to worry, folks. Poor Angelo has to sell. It's part of his 10b-5 plan. The fact that he entered into this second stock-exit plan less than a year ago, after he'd already dumped enormous piles of Countrywide, and just as sub-prime was beginning to really crack, well, all that means nothing regarding his opinion for the long-term health of the company he built.
Here's the verbiage: "The upcoming sales are driven by rules within the 10b5-1 Plan that were established long ago, and should in no way be viewed as any indication of my future outlook for Countrywide."
Right-o, Angelo. And while we're at it, we'll just pretend those major mortgage-linked losses at Citigroup (NYSE: C ) , Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM ) , Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB ) , UBS (NYSE: UBS ) , and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) represent the end of the agony. Certainly the last of it. Housing's gotta be out of the woods by now, right? I'm sure everything will be fine from here on out.