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Tue, Oct 07, 2008 - Page 10 News List

US crisis will not lead to a depression, Bill Gates says

AFP , WASHINGTON

The richest man in the US, Bill Gates, said in a television interview broadcast on Sunday that the US financial crisis does not spell the end of capitalism and will not lead to a depression.

“It’s a very interesting crisis,” Microsoft founder told CNN, discussing the US Congress’ US$700 billion bailout bill for Wall Street, which was passed on Friday to stem economic jitters spreading around the world.

The slump triggered by the collapse of the subprime housing market requires “some type of correction,” Gates said, “but fundamentally ... companies’ willingness to invest, right now we haven’t seen a huge disruption in that.”

“It looks like the economy may go down somewhat, but nothing like a big recession or a depression,” he said.

On some experts’ misgivings about the US bailout plan, Gates said: “It doesn’t look like fixing these problems is going to derail the economy in some dramatic way.”

Gates, who last month topped Forbes magazine’s list of the richest men in the US with an estimated US$57 billion fortune, said the future of the US and the global economies lay in the resilience and innovative spirit of businessmen and scientists around the world.

“The amount of innovation taking place, the amount of investment is actually greater today than ever,” Gates said.

“Because you not only have more American companies with more scientists and engineers and innovators, but now you have ... people from all over, including lots of people in India and China, now contributing to new drug design, new software design, new energy generation design.”

Gates said on CNN that the quest for new technologies to increase food production and reduce global warming through cheaper and cleaner energy sources “will deliver those advances” to push the world economy forward.

Gates retired from Microsoft in June to focus on running the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed at fighting disease, reducing poverty and improving education around the world.

Gates remains the software giant’s largest single shareholder and chairman of company’s board of directors.

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