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Bill Gates says it's 'a certainty' that we will have another financial crisis like in 2008

Melia Robinson

 

  • Bill Gates said in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" thread on Tuesday that Americans should expect another financial crisis of the magnitude of the 2008 downturn.
  • Still, Gates was optimistic overall.
  • The billionaire philanthropist believes the world is improving and often cites the falling number of people living in extreme poverty as evidence.

Many economists consider the financial crisis of 2008 to be the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

According to Bill Gates, the US is heading toward another one just like it.

On Tuesday, the Microsoft founder held an "Ask Me Anything" event on Reddit. When a user asked, "Do you think in the near future, we will have another financial crisis similar to the one in 2008?" Gates replied with a stern — but still optimistic — warning.

"Yes. It is hard to say when but this is a certainty," Gates said. "Fortunately we got through that one reasonably well."

Gates then deferred to his good friend and fellow billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett, saying, "Warren has talked about this and he understands this area far better than I do."

The 2008 crisis led to the Great Recession, which saw 8.8 million jobs lost. The net worth of households across the US fell by more than $19 trillion, and the number of homeless families increased.

Gates ended his reply by saying, "Despite this prediction of bumps ahead I am quite optimistic about how innovation and capitalism will improve the situation for humans everywhere."

Gates has said he believes the world is getting better by almost every objective measure.

Earlier this month, Gates said during a live Q&A in New York that "it doesn't happen automatically."

"It's because people care," he said. "It's because of scientific inventions."

He often cites his and his wife's efforts to reduce worldwide rates of poverty through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The proportion of the world population that lives in extreme poverty — defined by the World Bank as those living on less than $1.90 a day — has fallen to about one-tenth of the population from more than one-third in 1990, according to a column Gates wrote for Time last month.

In 2016, Gates said it was possible to end world poverty by 2030.

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