“Countrywide was one of the greatest companies in the history of this country,” Mr. Mozilo maintained, “and probably made more difference to society, to the integrity of our society, than any company in the history of America.”
TRULY startling revelations were few in the voluminous report, published last Thursday by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission on the origins of the financial panic. This is hardly a shock, given the flood-the-zone coverage and analysis of the crisis since it erupted four years ago.
Yet the report still makes for compelling reading because so little has changed as a result of the debacle, in both banking and in its regulation. Providing chapter and verse, for example, on the bumbling and siloed management at the nation’s largest banks is enlightening, in that many of these institutions are even bigger than they were before. With too-big-to-fail institutions now larger than ever, we are almost certain to go through another episode like 2008 in the not-too-distant future.
For those who might find the report’s 633 pages a bit daunting for a weekend read, we offer a Cliffs Notes version.
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