Countrywide executives were supposed to be entertaining bankers this week at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch ski resort, a fairy-tale lodge nestled in the mountains near Aspen, Colorado, where rooms start at $725 and a Spago restaurant offers $140 caviar and Kobe steaks, served with a side of wasabi mashed potatoes, for a mere $105. But alas, it is not to be.
This morning, Countrywide decided to cancel their getaway, in light of "recent events," a spokesman told the Times. They didn't specify which recent events. Was it poor snow conditions? Too much work? Or, oooooh, pressure from Chuck Schumer, perhaps? "This brings new meaning to 'snow job,'" the senator said over the weekend, when he urged the company to "call off this shameful ski getaway and put all [the] company's resources into refinancing the borrowers Countrywide took advantage of," in a written statement. Then there was the Post story headlined, "Let Them Eat Kobe." And lest we forget! CEO Angelo Mozilo is scheduled to testify in front of Congress next week, where he'll be asked to justify his ginormous salary in light of the ginormous losses that Countrywide suffered in the past year ($422 mill in the fourth quarter!) and layoffs of 11,000 employees. Just those kind of events. Nothing major.