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Article by dailystock_admin    (02-21-09 01:17 AM)

Prem Watsa's Latest Interview With canada.com
Date: February 20, 2009 08:50AM

Q. What has to change to get out of this?

Prem Watsa: We still have to worry about deflation because remember while Obama and the US government are spending this money, the rest of the economy — businesses and individuals — are deleveraging. We are saving, not expand capacity, we're scared. It's also important to note that the U.S. federal government is only 20% of the economy. It's spending but 80% of the economy is deleveraging.

Demand is the issue and what we have to worry about. Also remember that in the last five years, half of the increase in consumer spending in the US was home equity loans borrowed against appreciation of homes. And that's all gone.

The ultimate test is will the 80% start spending and we will not know that for some time.

Q. So does that mean it won't and that you are not investing again yet?

Prem Watsa: We have been negative on common stocks for 4 or 5 years, and hedged our positions. But we stopped hedging in December and have bought long-term valuable, big companies with good, tested management such as Johnson & Johnson, Dell Computers, Kraft Foods, Wells Fargo, Intel and others. We believe these will pay off five years from now. We also like corporate and muni [tax free municipal bonds] bonds.

Link to Complete Interview

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