Forbes magazine named Gates, in September as the richest person in the United States for the 15th straight year, renewed his pledge to keep his foundation focused on health issues.
Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates foresees another three-to-four "very tough" years for the U.S. economy. Gates' comments on the economy came as U.S. Gross Domestic Product shrank by a 3.8 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, according to government data. It was the severest economic contraction in 27 years.
"No doubt, we've got three or four years here that are going to be very tough," Gates told the eclectic gathering of industry executives and business leaders. "We're going through a period ... where a 50-year credit expansion has moved to contraction.
he further added "You're going to have a number of years where aggregate demand is low,".