impact of interest rates on investment strategies, and global currencies. And, both men weigh in on why high frequency trading is really just a form of legalized “front running.” Also, Gates explains why the software business is an “amazing” business to be in.
Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman; and Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, chairman & CEO, discuss the importance of measuring innovation and intervention. Also, both business leaders take a look at increasing the awareness of philanthropy and the U.S. government’s role in providing financial aid to poorer countries.
warren buffett and bill gates here with us. bill, i wanted to ask about something you wrote in your annual letter. just in terms of measuring innovations, things like for the next seed that’s out there. oregon immunization, getting those to the people who need them. you talk specifically how you need to measure how that is working. i read through it three times. it works best when things can be measured. and you may have government owners or philanthropic owners. and picking which seed to improve and you improve it, does the farmer really use it. does it give productivity. have you created something which requires fertilizer which they can’t get or tools they don’t have available. so there’s all this well-meaning thinking going on. but the actual benefit always ends up being so much less than people with tools might theufplt the only way to get around that and to see where it’s hard and what you need to do more is measure the health improvements and the agricultural productivity. you would be amazed how weak the numbers are. most are huge in term hraeugzs where they measure less than 1%. they sort of assume that the rest is the same. even population numbers, gdp numbers. it makes the normal statistics that you look at, which are so much more. we have had to invest in satellite maps to look at the crops and see what’s going on with them. how can we use regular surveys to ask about regular health type things. you pointed out this is something necessary particularly in times of tight budgets. and we have seen tight budgets all the way around the globe. we have gone through a very difficult point where charitable giving suffered in a way too. have you seen with your globe trotting efforts to raise philanthropy. has it improved? there is this trend of being more rich people, billionaires or whatever level you take. is that will lead to philanthropy going up over time. and is it something that people consider that lots of people are doing. i’m optimistic that’s going up over time. so you had the blip of the financial crisis that hurt a lot of things. the government budgets