No One Immune to Global Crisis: Microsoft CEO

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said on Tuesday no company was immune to the global financial crisis, which he expects to sap both consumer and business spending. On Monday, Ballmer said he believed the tech industry was still “buoyant”.

“Financial issues are going to affect both business spending and consumer spending, and particularly … spending by the financial services industry,” Ballmer told reporters on the sidelines of a news conference in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. “I think one has to anticipate that no company is immune to these issues,” he said, but declined to be more specific.

Wall Street analysts, on average, expect the Redmond, Washington-based company to generate an 8 percent rise in revenue to just under $15 billion in its first-quarter ending in September. Ballmer said he believed Congress would soon help stabilize the situation after rejecting a $700 billion bank bailout plan on Monday.

“I trust that before the end of the week we have some resolution, at least in the U.S. Congress, that will help to stabilize the situation. We need that, I hope we get that,” he said. “I have to believe that some of the issues also face the European banks and I trust that the European Central Bank will be as intelligent as it needs to be around that,” he said.

World stocks fell on Tuesday after the rejection of the U.S. bank rescue package, although European shares had trimmed early losses by mid-morning trade as investors bet the bailout package would eventually go through.

Bad mortgage debt has hit U.S. banks and insurers, prompting government bailouts to avoid a breakdown in the financial system.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki. Writing by Wojciech Moskwa. Editing by Sue Thomas.)