Don''t worry, the dollar won''t crash....

Section:

By James Hertling
Bloomberg News Service
Saturday, January 29, 2005

http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?
pid=10000006&sid=aAvDTJpsO1Nk&refer=home

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Bill Gates, the world's richest person
with a net worth of $46.6 billion, is betting against the U.S.
dollar.

"I'm short the dollar," Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp., told
Charlie Rose in an interview in front of an audience of about 200 at
the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "The ol' dollar, it's
gonna go down."

Gates' comments reflect the same view as his friend Warren Buffett,
the billionaire investor who has bet against the currency since 2002.
Buffett said last week that the country's trade gap will probably
weaken the dollar, which fell 21 percent against a basket of six
major currencies between January 2002 and the end of last year.

"It is a bit scary," Gates said. "We're in uncharted territory when
the world's reserve currency has so much outstanding debt."

The U.S. is borrowing to finance record budget and trade deficits.
Total U.S. government debt stood at $7.62 trillion as of Jan. 27, up
8.7 percent from a year earlier.

Forbes magazine's list of billionaires ranks Gates, 49, No. 1.
Buffett, 74, is second, with more than $30 billion. Almost all of it
is in Berkshire stock.

The two have been friends for years, taking vacations together and
playing online bridge. Gates in December joined the board of
Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the investment company that Buffett runs.

The country is importing more than it exports, and the government is
funding part of its budget deficit by selling bonds to foreign
investors, Buffett said in an interview with CNBC Jan. 19.

"Unless we have a major change in trade policies, I don't see how the
dollar avoids going down," Buffett said.

Gates described China as a potential "change agent" for the next two
decades. "It's phenomenal," Gates said. "It's a brand new form of
capitalism."

His $27 billion foundation in September received approval from
China's foreign-currency regulator to invest as much as $100 million
in the nation's yuan shares and bonds.

Gates, holder of almost 1.1 billion Microsoft shares with a market
value of about $29 billion, also owns about 3,580 Class A shares of
Berkshire Hathaway. His personal investment vehicle has reported
holding $3 billion worth of stock in 14 companies, including cable
provider Cox Communications Inc. and the Canadian National Railway
Co.

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