Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein attacked U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fraud charges against the bank in phone calls to clients, the Financial Times reported.
In its civil fraud lawsuit on Friday, the SEC alleged that Goldman failed to tell clients that complex mortgage-related securities they were buying had been created by billionaire hedge fund investor John Paulson, who stood to benefit if the securities lost value. Paulson has not been charged.
Blankfein is trying to bolster confidence of business partners following the lawsuit, according to the newspaper.
It said that in conversations with private equity executives and others, Blankfein left clients with an impression he is eager to fight the case in court.
"He was very aggressive," the newspaper said, quoting an unnamed person called by Blankfein on Wednesday.
"He feels that the government is out to kill them, that they are under attack and the whole thing is totally political," and that the SEC lawsuit "hurts America," the person said.
A call to Goldman was not immediately returned.
According to the newspaper, citing a person who was called, Blankfein also said a female staffer at ACA, the manager of the security, knew that Paulson & Co intended to bet against the transaction.
This, it said, would go against SEC charges that Goldman failed to disclose that Paulson was taking the opposite side.
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