Friday, September 14, 2007

The Heat On Countrywide

But not so long ago you called Countrywide a prime company, with subprime accounting for only 7% of the business. You lambasted the poor underwriting standards of other lenders. And then in March, I remember you came on my show and said Countrywide would benefit from the subprime chaos as irrational lenders got blown out. Why do you think the events turned out differently?

They didn't. They have been blown out. You know, the Ameriquests, the New Centurys, the Own Its—just go through the whole list of them—are gone. So they have been blown out. And over time Countrywide will be the beneficiary.

There's been speculation that the Federal Reserve lowered the discount rate specifically to prevent Countrywide from going under after it couldn't draw on the commercial paper markets for capital. What do you think?

Absolutely not. I think that's placing an inordinate amount of importance on Countrywide. This deal [with BofA] was struck long before the discount rate was changed.

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