Thursday, March 12, 2009

Still Making Money

A lot of folks are still making money in this bad economy, Forbes Magazine reported today that the number of billionaires in the world is shrinking, but some folks are still cashing in. Selling stocks short is one way to do that (you borrow stocks you don't own and sell them now, but wait until the price goes down to buy the stocks before you pass them on to the new owners). And there are others making boatloads of cash - some of which will make you sad. From the New York Times...

Fairly or not, Countrywide Financial and its top executives would be on most lists of those who share blame for the nation’s economic crisis. After all, the banking behemoth made risky loans to tens of thousands of Americans, helping set off a chain of events that has the economy staggering.

So it may come as a surprise that a dozen former top Countrywide executives now stand to make millions from the home mortgage mess.

Stanford L. Kurland, Countrywide’s former president, and his team have been buying up delinquent home mortgages that the government took over from other failed banks, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. They get a piece of what they can collect.

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