Financial Winners (Zell, Greenberg) and Losers (Winkler, Mozilo)

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 |  Includes: AIG, CFC, CVC
by: Tom Brown

Winners and losers from the week just past:

Winners

Sam Zell was able to engineer something of a mini-bidding war for Newsday. Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) will pay $650 million for the paper, modestly above the initial $580 million bids from News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) and Mort Zuckerman. In an environment for the newspaper business that seems to be getting worse by the minute, Zell is struggling hard to figure out how Tribune will manage the $13 billion in debt it took on as part of its buyout. Every extra dollar helps.

Hank Greenberg must have enjoyed himself at least a little as he teed off on his old colleagues, in a filing with the S.E.C., about the "persistent and seemingly endless destruction of value at A.I.G." The company (NYSE:AIG) is in "a crisis", he said.

Losers

Forget what he's saying for public consumption, Matt Winkler can't be happy about the arrival of Norman Pearlstine at Bloomberg as "chief content officer." Winkler does not have a reputation for playing well with others even when the others in questions aren't at his level on the org chart. Plus, as one wag memorably notes (in the N.Y. Post, of all places), "Duumvirates are always difficult."

Angelo Mozilo, along with his executive team and Countrywide's (CFC) board of directors, will have to answer shareholders suits related to insider trading and various management lapses, after all, a federal judge in L.A. ruled. "Mozilo's actions appear to defeat the very purpose of 10b5-1 plans," she wrote. Mozilo, recall, sold $474 million in Countrywide stock over the three years prior to announcement of the company's sale this past January.

Tom Brown is head of BankStocks.com.