Calamos Investments sold its Goldman Sachs Group Inc holdings when the news of the civil fraud charges against the bank hit, fearing the stock was at best dead money, Co-Chief Investment Officer Nick Calamos said on Wednesday.
Calamos sold $200 million to $300 million worth of Goldman stock right when the news hit, Calamos told Reuters on the sidelines of the Milken Institute Global Conference.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil fraud suit against Goldman on April 16, charging that the investment bank hid vital information from investors about a mortgage-related security.
Several current and former Goldman Sachs executives, including Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, were hauled before Congress on Tuesday, where they faced a blistering cross-examination from U.S. lawmakers about the company's ethics and behavior toward its clients.
Our concern is that once the government starts looking in all the corners and looking for problems, they are going to find problems, Calamos said. And they are kind of a whipping boy for Congress.
At best it is probably dead money, meaning that it's not going anywhere. At worst they find other issues and they become the real center of attention for Congress, he said.
Calamos said from his investment firm's shareholders' perspective, there are better places to put capital.
It's not like Goldman is so cheap that it's already priced into it, Calamos said.
But he added that the firm would re-evaluate the move if the outcome of the SEC investigation proved to be in Goldman's favor.
(Reporting by Paritosh Bansal and Megan Davies, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)