Paulson Holds Second Conference Call with Investors
For the second time this week, hedge fund manager John Paulson has held a conference calls with investors over his involvement in the Goldman Sachs case, CNBC has learned.
Paulson has not been accused of wrongdoing, but the Securities and Exchange Commission says Goldman Sachs committed fraud by not disclosing Paulson's role in a 2007 mortgage derivative offering.
Sources say Paulson repeated his contention—laid out in a letter to clients Tuesday—that his dealings in the mortgage market were "transparent and open."
Even though he has not been implicated, Paulson has been taking a proactive approach with his investors. He had held a conference call on Monday with a different group of clients.
In today's call, sources say, Paulson was asked if he had done other deals similar to the Goldman Sachs deal in question.
An investor who was on the call tells CNBC that Paulson replied he had made similar types of bets in the mortgage market; but a source familiar with Paulson's investments says the Goldman deal was the only collateralized debt obligation on which Paulson "bought protection," a particular way to bet against the underlying securities.
The Goldman Sachs deal was a so-called "synthetic" CDO, meaning it contained derivatives based on mortgages but none of the mortgages themselves.
The SEC complaint against Goldman Sachs says synthetic CDOs "contributed to the recent financial crisis by magnifying losses associated with the downturn in the housing market." As a result, the SEC is looking carefully at the level of disclosure in many synthetic CDOs.
One investor today asked Paulson if he had received a Wells notice from the SEC—a formal notice that his firm is about to be sued. He gave the same response he gave investors on Monday's conference call: "No."