Jean-Marie Eveillard - First Eagle Funds Conference Call, May 6, 2008

Jean-Marie Eveillard

Now, let me move to an update to the current investment scene as we see it. I think investing is a matter of trying to balance what I would call circumstances and prices. In terms of circumstances, we have been, for a while, in a financial crisis, probably the worst since the end of World War II, which is a polite way of saying that it’s the worst since the Great Depression. This financial crisis is, to a large extent, I believe, a result, a consequence of the previous 25-year credit boom that was briefly interrupted in 1990. That credit boom, because it went on so long, in the last few years of the boom, the acrobatics by financial types, not us mind you, were extraordinary. Then the credit cycle turned in August of last year, with the sub prime housing crisis, and it has been painful ever since.

Now, I’m sure, of course, that the crisis will find its resolution; all crises do eventually. The key question, I believe, is, “How long and how painful the transition will be towards the resolution of the crisis.”

We are just beginning to see the economic consequences of the crisis. In other words, the economic slow down. We also have to worry, I believe, about the unintended consequences of the very unusual steps taken by the Federal Reserve to prevent the crisis from degenerating. Among those unintended consequences, of course, is the status of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency and the possibility that domestic inflation will accelerate.

Direct Link - First Eagle Funds Conference Call, May 6, 2008.

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