Profit takers beware – if you get too wise with your investing, the class warfare soldiers are coming after you.
Over the last year, Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide (NYSE:CFC), decided to periodically sell some of the stock he owns in the company he co-founded 40 years ago and what is now the nation's largest mortgage lender – part of a prearranged measure known as a 10b5-1 trading plan. This was all done to prepare him for his December 2009 retirement date.
Despite his upcoming retirement, that drew the ire of some liberal pro-union groups and CBS’s Anthony Mason, whereas anyone defending his decision to sell his stock was not found in Mason’s report.
“William Patterson is leading a shareholder revolt against Mozilo,” Mason said on the October 30 “Evening News.” “His CtW pension consulting group, together with the huge union pension fund AFSCME and the state treasurer of North Carolina, are all calling for Mozilo's ouster after it was revealed he sold more than $130 million of company stock this year before the extent of Countrywide's troubles were known.”
Both the CtW pension consulting group and AFSCME are groups with a union agenda. State Treasurer of North Carolina Richard Moore, also mentioned as part of the “revolt,” is a Democratic candidate for governor of North Carolina – a significant detail not reported by CBS. Moore has been vocal in his protests against Mozilo.
Ironically, just a year ago the “CBS Evening News” warned of a downturn in the housing market with economic implications – even a recession.
“Despite the cooling housing market, some top economists predict the nation's economy will keep expanding, although more slowly, through the end of the year,” CBS correspondent Alexis Christoforous said on the “CBS Evening News” on Sept. 17, 2006. “They warn there's a one-in-four chance the economy could slip into a recession sometime next year. Others put that risk much higher.”
“I think the odds of recession right now are probably about 50/50,” Liz Anne Saunders of Charles Schwab said to Christoforous in that same broadcast.
The logical response to that gloomy report would have been to react as Mozilo did; however, the CBS report on October 30 failed to show anyone who saw it that way.