US Economy

Bill Gates: Low rates pose leverage, bubble risks

Buffett on the Fed: Yellen's hands are tied

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said Monday he's concerned about the negative ramifications of continuing low interest rates not only in the U.S. but around the world.

"The environment with low interest rates—it's globally so unusual. It really shouldn't persist," he said. "It creates problems in terms of leverage and bubbles. But how we get out of it creating some economic setback? It would be very difficult."

The Federal Reserve is in a tough spot because central banks in Europe are still lowering rates at a time the Fed is considering hiking rates, Gates said. "People do expect the U.S. to sort of take the lead in pushing our way out of this situation."

Gates joined Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger on CNBC's "Squawk Box" following the Berkshire annual shareholder meeting on Saturday.

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Low interest rates are affecting real estate in a big way, Buffett said. "And you can understand why—you can borrow your money cheaper if you want to finance the thing."

He added, "It's changed the value of real estate dramatically in this country. and it's probably changed stocks pretty dramatically."

Munger said, "I'm deeply suspicious about printing money and throwing it around instead of printing money and building infrastructure and so on."

"Everybody is relying too much on these monetary tricks," he said.

Many market watchers see September or even December as likely months when the Fed could hike rates for the first time in nearly a decade.