NEW ORLEANS – As the industry verges on the edge of a full-fledged crisis, executives at the Investment Company Institute’s annual operations conference here opted not to speak bluntly about what needs to be done in the wake of potentially damning revelations by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

"It might be easy to be down on our industry right now, and some of you may even be reevaluating whether it’s worth working in," Nino Palermo, vice president of American Funds and conference chair, told attendees. "As an industry, the last three years have been a roller-coaster ride," he said, noting cost containment and layoffs. "No sooner does the market begin to show life, do other things surface. We are confronting things we’ve never had to confront before." However, Palermo said that the mutual fund industry is different than other industries in that when problems arise, individual companies tend to work together to solve the problems for the good of the industry.

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