Bill Gates plays down recession fears
The richest man in America, Bill Gates, has said in a TV interview 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," the Microsoft founder told CNN, discussing the US Congress's $US700 billion ($A908.21 billion) bailout bill for Wall Street which was passed 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 added, "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 added.
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 United States with an estimated $US57 billion ($A73.95 billion) fortune, said the future of the US and the global economies lies 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.
He remains Microsoft's largest single shareholder and chairman of company's board of directors.