Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates sees an inevitable crash of the financial markets in the near future, of the same magnitude as the 2008 downturn that led to the Great Recession and millions of jobs lost.
Last week, Gates, the second-richest individual in the world after Amazon.com Inc.'s (AMZN) Jeff Bezos, hosted an "Ask Me Anything" session on social platform Reddit. When asked by a user if he thinks "in the near future, we will have another financial crisis similar to the one in 2008?" the billionaire philanthropist responded with a blunt yet overall upbeat response. (See also: How Jeff Bezos Got to Be the World's Richest Man.)
"Yes. It is hard to say when but this is a certainty," said the legendary tech executive. "Fortunately, we got through that one reasonably well. Warren [Buffett] has talked about this and he understands this area for better than I do," he added, referencing recent remarks from his long-time friend and the world's third-richest individual. Gates' fellow billionaire philanthropist has advised investors to buy and hold during market fluctuations and to avoid watching the markets closely, as reported by CNBC. (See also: Buffett: Cryptocurrency Will Come to a Bad End.)
Upbeat on Innovation, Capitalism
In a January essay for Time magazine, Buffett suggested that years of growth "certainly lie ahead" and "most American children are going to live far better than their parents did." The Great Recession, now one decade past since its start, saw nearly 9 million jobs lost and resulted in a loss of $19 trillion from the net worth of households across the U.S., as reported by Business Insider.
Gates ended his Reddit thread by stating that despite his outlook for a downturn ahead, he is "quite optimistic about how innovation and capitalism will improve the situation for humans everywhere." He has repeatedly argued that the world is improving by almost every objective measure, "because people care" and "because of scientific inventions."
In 2016, Gates, who has focused on reducing the worldwide rate of poverty through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his global foundation that he runs with his wife, said it was possible to end world poverty by 2030.