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

  • Bill Gates said in a recent Reddit AMA that Americans should expect another financial crisis on 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.

The financial crisis of 2008 is considered by many economists to have been the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

According to Bill Gates, the US is eventually headed for another financial crisis just like it.

On Tuesday, the Microsoft founder held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. When a Reddit user asked Gates, "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 America fell $19 trillion, and the number of homeless families increased.

RELATED: Check out the best books of 2017, according to Bill Gates: 

The best books, according to Bill Gates
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The best books, according to Bill Gates

When Breath Becomes Air 

Gates' review: "I’m usually not one for tear-jerkers about death and dying—I didn’t love The Last Lecture or Tuesdays with Morrie. But this book definitely earned my admiration—and tears." 

Photo credit: Amazon

I Contain Multitudes 

Gates' review: "In the end, I Contain Multitudes is a healthy corrective. Yong succeeds in his intention to give us a “grander view of life” and does so without falling prey to grand, unifying explanations that are far too simplistic."

Photo credit: Amazon 

The Heart 

Gates' review: "When Melinda recommended the book to me, she said, “It’s different from most of the books you read.” And that’s true—but part of the reason for that is that it’s different from most books."

Photo credit: Amazon 

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow 

Gates' review: "Harari’s new book is as challenging and readable as Sapiens. Rather than looking back, as Sapiens does, it looks to the future. I don’t agree with everything the author has to say, but he has written a thoughtful look at what may be in store for humanity."

Photo credit: Amazon 

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Gates' review: "Through deeply personal stories like these, Hillbilly Elegy sheds light our nation’s vast cultural divide—a topic that has become far more relevant than Vance ever dreamed when he was writing this book." 

Photo credit: Amazon 

Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood 

Gates' review: "In fact, Noah’s mother emerges as the real hero of the book. [...] If my mother had one goal, it was to free my mind,” he writes. Like many fans of Noah’s, I am thankful she did."

Photo credit: Amazon 

A Full Life: Reflections At Ninety 

Gates' review: "A Full Life feels timely in an era when the public’s confidence in national political figures and institutions is low. It is true that President Carter made unforced errors during his time in office. But when you read this book and have a chance to meet him in person, you can’t help but conclude that Carter is a brave, thoughtful, disciplined leader who understands the world at a remarkable level and who has improved the lives of billions of people through his advocacy for human rights and global health."

Photo credit: Amazon 


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 that the world is getting better by almost every objective measure.

Earlier this month, Gates said during a live Q&A in New York City that "it doesn't happen automatically. It's because people care. It's because of scientific inventions."

He often cites his and his wife Melinda's efforts to reduce the rate of poverty.

The proportion of the world population that lives in extreme poverty — defined as living on less than $1.90 per day by the World Bank — has fallen from more than a third of the population in 1990 to about one-tenth today, according to an editorial Gates wrote for TIME in January.

In 2016, Gates said it's possible to end world poverty by the year 2030.

SEE ALSO: Bill Gates says the world is objectively getting better — in spite of Trump's 'America First' policies 

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