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No Crisis of Capitalism, Gates Says

Microsoft's Chairman Bill Gates expressed confidence in the current economic system, despite plunging market values, in a TV interview broadcast on Sunday. The market continued to fall even after President Bush signed a Wall Street bailout plan into U.S. law.

When asked by CNN reporter Fareed Zakaria if we were facing a "crisis of capitalism," Gates said no.

"It's an interesting crisis, and it's important that things move forth -- that markets are continuing to operate," said Gates, reportedly the world's richest man.

"The economy may go down somewhat, but nothing like a big recession or depression," Gates added. He said that the amount of investment "is actually greater today."

Microsoft backed the $700 billion Wall Street bailout signed into law on Friday. Brad Smith, Microsoft's senior vice president and counsel said that the legislation was "a critically important step to bringing back economic stability in the U.S. and around the globe."

Late last month, Microsoft unveiled a plan to buy back $40 billion of its own stock. The company also took on debt for the first time to fund its operations. Those measures were approved by Microsoft's board and announced on Sept. 22, shortly after Microsoft's stock had dipped below 25 points.

Today, Microsoft's stock closed at 24.9 points, down by five percent. The stock price was still higher than Microsoft's 52-week low mark, recorded at 23.5 points.

On Monday, in late trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged to its lowest point in four years, losing nearly 500 points or 3.58 percent, settling below 10,000. The Nasdaq, on which Microsoft trades, was down 4.34 percent.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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