Each week, The Final Edition tells the story of a great American businessman who, despite his lack of ethics, has bravely stayed out of jail.
Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide Financial
This son of a Bronx butcher earned over $500 million by inflating the subprime mortgage bubble to the bursting point. An equal opportunity exploiter, Mozilo made homes available to every American who could not afford them, regardless of racial, social, or economic background.
Mozilo pioneered the subtle, bribery-based "Friends of Angelo" list, which included Senators who pushed both legislation to keep Countrywide afloat and the company's eventual fire sale. He also earned $140 million selling Countrywide stock while the company collapsed, because he secretly changed company rules and lied to investors, regulators, and employees. Shrewd: Sharing information would have ruined his income.
This February, Federal prosecutors dropped their only case against Mozilo.
Angelo Mozilo is not now, nor will he ever be, in jail.