As I read the story in Information Week, I thought how much Mr. Gates appears to be like Dick Cheney. Mr. Gates did not go out of his way to say anything during the time he was fully active at Microsoft; Dick Cheney said little to nothing the entire time he was Vice President of the United States. However, now that they are both beyond their time of service, they have both gotten very chatty.
The article in Information Week tells us that Gates believes that the economy is not as resilient as some would like us to believe –
Despite some recent glimmers of hope, Bill Gates believes it could take several more years for the economy to fully rebound from the great recession, which many economists say began in earnest in late 2008 with the collapse of Lehman Bros and other investment houses.
“When you have a financial crisis like that, it’s years of digging out,” the Microsoft chairman said Monday during an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America.
“The budget’s very, very out of balance,” Gates warned.
“And even as the economy comes back, without changes in tax and entitlement policies, it won’t get back into balance. And at some point, financial markets will look at that and it will cause problems,” Gates added.
Gates’ comments come three days before Microsoft is slated to announce earnings for its fiscal second quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect the company to post earnings per share of 59 cents, on revenue of $17.79 billion.
In 2008, Microsoft posted second quarter earnings of 47 cents on $16.63 billion in revenue.
The interview coincided with the publication of Gates’ annual letter from his charitable organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In the letter, Gates said he talked to co-trustee Warren Buffett “more than ever” during the past year to gain a better understanding of the financial meltdown.
“Although the acute financial crisis is over, the economy is still weak, and the world will spend a lot of years undoing the damage, which includes lingering unemployment and huge government deficits and debts at record levels,” Gates wrote.
Still, there are indications that some markets are stabilizing and are in line for growth.
Research firm Forrester is calling for tech spending in the U.S. to grow 6.6% this year, to $568 billion, after being down 8.2% in 2009. Worldwide spending will jump 8.1% to more than $1.6 trillion, following a decline of 8.9% last year, according to Forrester.
Microsoft shares were up 1.42%, to $29.37, in early trading Monday as stock markets rebounded from Friday’s sell off.
Though everything Gates says is probably true, it is amazing that he would speak out on something that is not his area of expertise. Still, many will probably take notice, just as I did – wondering what the effect will be on the greater business world.
Still funny today, possibly because it could be based in fact…