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Fifth Street Finance's CEO Discusses F1Q12 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Today’s conference call includes forward-looking statements and projections. And we ask that you refer to our most recent filings with the SEC for important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements and projections.

We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements unless required by law. To obtain copies of our latest SEC filings, please visit our website or call Investor Relations at 914-286-6811. The format for today’s call is as follows: Len will provide an overview, Bernie will provide an update on our capital structure, and Alex will summarize the financials, and then we’ll open the line for Q&A.

I will now turn the call over to our CEO, Len Tannenbaum.

Len Tannenbaum

Thank you, Stacey. Welcome to the 2012 lending environment. Unless Republicans win the Presidency and control both chambers of Congress, we believe the taxes will increase next year. As the odds change on the outcome of the election during the year, we expected to have a substantial effect on M&A activity. As the tax increase that will occur next year from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts coupled with the extra tax from ObamaCare may incentivize owners of businesses to accelerate any sales plans they have in the next few years for 2012.

The supply and demand equations will be further complicated by the exploration of the reinvestment period on many middle market CLOs and the refinancing wall of CLOs that is approaching. We are also seeing the beginnings of BASEL III taking effect as the Big’s U.S. banks begin to reduce lending in cooperation for the adherence to the these standards.

Lastly we believe the massive deleveraging of Europe and the need to raise hundreds of billions of dollars in equity to support the fragile banking system there will also contribute to the reduction in worldwide liquidity. So what is the offset to these amounts, quantitative easing of course. QE is the new fad as we even saw this morning as Europe increased their QE by $50 billion this morning.

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