Another golden parachute

 Posted by at 20:16  Politics
Jan 112008

There is something not quite right about this story…

Lavish Payout, Perks for Failed Mortgage CEO

Angelo Mozilo
Angelo Mozilo

Angelo Mozilo, the co-founder and public face of troubled mortgage giant Countrywide, is eligible for tens if not hundreds of millions in compensation and perks on the sale of the company to Bank of America.

During calendar 2006, the latest period available for review in Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Mozilo took home $48.1 million in compensation. An early analysis of SEC filings by the Los Angeles Times suggests he could get upward of $115 million when he leaves after the sale is complete, despite the fact that the company tanked during the recent subprime mortgage crisis.

In December, Countrywide reported a record number of foreclosures and delinquencies in its loan portfolio. The value of shares has fallen more than 84 percent since mid-May of last year.

Bank of America today confirmed that Mozilo will stay on with the company through a “transition period.” Countrywide wouldn’t comment on Mozilo’s pay.

His long tenure with the firm — he has been there since its beginning in 1969 — and extensive employment agreement gives him the right to a significant payout when he leaves.

Immediately upon a change in control, Mozilo would get $13.3 million in accelerated vesting of stock grants, according to the terms of his 2004 compensation agreement, included in the company’s latest proxy statement.

Should he leave the company after the firm’s buyout, Mozilo would get a one-time cash payment of $88 million…

Some of the perks to which Mozilo is entitled after a change in control, according to the official filing:

  • The company will retain Mozilo as a consultant. Mozilo is obligated to make himself available for a specified period of time each month through December 2011 and at the rate of $400,000 per year.
  • He will also be entitled to receive other benefits, including office space, secretarial support, use of the company’s aircraft, financial consulting services and payment of annual country club dues.
  • For three years, continuing health, life insurance and financial planning benefits for Mozilo and his beneficiaries.
  • After those three years, health benefits for the lifetimes of Mozilo and his spouse.
  • A “gross-up payment” equal to the excise tax charged to him as a result of his receipt of any of the above (with certain exceptions).

One cannot help but wonder how the laid-off workers of Countrywide Financial, who are most likely walking away with nothing after having invested years of their lives in the company, feel about all this.

Something simply is not right. You should not be able to run a company into the ground and then walk away fixed for life.

God bless Bushonomics.

Jan 112008

As we are wont to do every Friday evening, we herewith present you this week’s collection of what we have deemed to be the best and brightest of this week’s political and editorial cartoons. (Who knew I could talk like that?) Click and enjoy…

arial010708.gif  beattie011008.jpg

corky010908.jpg  fitzsimmons010808.jpg

harville010908.jpg  horsey010608.jpg

keefe010808.jpg  luckovich010908.gif

markstein010908.jpg  matson010808.jpg

morin011108.jpg  ohman011008.gif

plante011008.jpg  rogers010808.gif

sack010908.jpg  schorr010508.gif

siers011108.jpg  stein010808.jpg

toles010908.gif  varvel010808.jpg

varvel011008.jpg  matson011108.jpg

As always, our thanks go to the talented cartoonists who each week help us smile through the pain.

Jan 112008

Why in the world would Dennis Kucinich want a recount of the Democratic votes in the New Hampshire primary? Let’s put on our tin caps and think about this for a moment…

Kucinich Seeks NH Dem Vote Recount

Barack Obama and Dennis Kucinich
Barack Obama and Dennis Kucinich

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who won less than 2 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, said Thursday he wants a recount to ensure that all ballots in his party’s contest were counted. The Ohio congressman cited “serious and credible reports, allegations and rumors” about the integrity of Tuesday results.

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said Kucinich is entitled to a statewide recount. But, under New Hampshire law, Kucinich will have to pay for it. Scanlan said he had “every confidence” the results are accurate.

In a letter dated Thursday, Kucinich said he does not expect significant changes in his vote total, but wants assurance that “100 percent of the voters had 100 percent of their votes counted.”

Kucinich alluded to online reports alleging disparities around the state between hand-counted ballots, which tended to favor Sen. Barack Obama, and machine-counted ones that tended to favor Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. He also noted the difference between pre-election polls, which indicated Obama would win, and Clinton’s triumph by a 39 percent to 37 percent margin.

Candidates who lose by 3 percentage or less are entitled to a recount for a $2,000 fee. Candidates who lose by more must pay for the full cost. Kucinich’s campaign said it was sending the $2,000 fee to start the recount.

Which candidate lost the New Hampshire primary to Hillary Clinton by less than three percentage points? Hint: It wasn’t Dennis Kucinich.

Then there was this from Iowa:

Kucinich asks supporters to back Obama

DES MOINES, Iowa – Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich on Tuesday asked his supporters to make rival Barack Obama their second choice if he doesn’t meet a cutoff point for voting in Iowa’s caucuses.

Kucinich, an Ohio congressman at the back of the pack of Democratic hopefuls, seemed to concede a loss in the caucuses. He said his recommendation was for “Iowa only.”

Got your tin cap on? I mean, it’s as clear as the nose on your face. Anybody can see that Kucinich is just acting as proxy for Obama. It’s really the Obama campaign that wants the recount in New Hampshire. It’s not the guy who got 2% of the vote. If you followed the money (the $2,000 paid thus far for the recount), it would without doubt lead you right back to somebody in the Obama camp.

Obama’s folks really got stung in New Hampshire. They had practically guaranteed their candidate a win in that state. They are still trying to wash the egg off their faces. A recount showing that Obama actually won, however slim the margin, would certainly help with that effort.

See, righties? You’re not the only ones who can come up with crazy conspiracy theories.