Anxious customers jammed the phone lines and website of Countrywide Bank and crowded its branch offices to pull out their savings because of concerns about the financial problems of the mortgage lender that owns the bank.
Countrywide Financial Corp., the biggest home-loan company in the nation, sought Thursday to assure depositors and the financial industry that both it and its bank were fiscally stable. And federal regulators said they weren't alarmed by the volume of withdrawals from the bank.
The mortgage lender said it would further tighten its loan standards and make fewer large mortgages. Those moves could make it harder to get a home loan and further depress the housing market in California and other states.
The rush to withdraw money -- by depositors that included a former Los Angeles Kings star hockey player and an executive of a rival home-loan company -- came a day after fears arose that Countrywide Financial could file for bankruptcy protection because of a worsening credit crunch stemming from the sub-prime mortgage meltdown.
But the economy is great under George W. Bush. All the conservatives say so, anyhow, and they're completely objective.
To be serious for a moment: there's every indication at this point that the housing collapse is going to have very serious, very negative repurcussions throughout the U.S. economy. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the poor will probably be hurt harder than the rich in the fallout. I just hope that the rich feel some pain in the process. Maybe they'll understand, just for a moment, why no matter what the conservatives claim, most Americans are well aware that the economy is far, far, far from "good."