Countrywide Financial, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, moved to reassure investors Tuesday that it is not borrowing too much and will not be constrained in its ability to provide home loans.
"We said it back in August, we said it in September, we said it last week, we'll say it until we turn blue in the face, but we have ample liquidity to fund our growth and operational needs," David Bigelow, managing director of investor relations, said at an FBR Capital Markets conference in New York.
Bigelow rejected criticism that Countrywide has threatened the soundness of the Federal Home Loan Bank system by borrowing excessively. He also said Countrywide does not expect issues affecting Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to materially hurt its ability to make home loans.
Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and member of the Senate Banking Committee, accused Countrywide Monday of treating the FHLB system "like its personal ATM," having borrowed $51.1 billion as of Sept 30.
At least the company is consistent.
Let's look at the basic facts.
1.) The company has borrowed $51 billion over the course of the year.
2.) The two companies that provide a ton of liquidity to the mortgage market -- Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae -- are in a world of hurt.
3.) Home prices are dropping like stones according to the latest Case-Schiller news release.
4.) The housing market has more supply than it knows what to do with.
5.) Credit conditions are tightening.
But everything is alright for Countrywide -- they have no problems.
Why am I having a really hard time believing that?