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I yield to no one in my admiration of the business coverage at the New York Post. But occasionally the paper’s Inner Rupert takes over:

COUNTRYWIDE COLLAPSES AS CHIEF CASHES IN

By Paul Tharp

Profits tumbled yesterday for the nation's largest home mortgage firm--Countrywide Financial--even as its chief Angelo Mozilo was quietly cashing out a $118.2 million options windfall ahead of its new troubles. . . . [snip] . . . Mozilo began cashing out his huge pot of options when cracks in the housing bubble first appeared in December among slow-paying homebuyers, a dangerous red flag. [Emph. added]

I call cheap shot! There’s no way Mozilo or any other insider of a public company can “quietly” sell stock. The S.E.C. has rules about that sort of thing. For that matter, neither did his sales just begin this past December. Angelo has been cashing in options and selling stock for as long as anyone can remember; investors who took that as a “red flag” missed out on one of the great investments in the financial services industry of the past quarter-century.

Tharp did get Countrywide’s basic earnings numbers right, though.

Tom Brown is head of BankStocks.com.

Source: New York Post's Cheap Shot Against Countrywide CEO