In a letter inspired by billionaire Warren Buffett's annual letter to shareholders, Bill Gates issued a 20-page look at the state of his foundation, saying it will give out a record amount of money this year even though the stock-market rout has hurt its endowment.
In the letter, aimed at partners of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Gates said the value of the charity's endowment dropped 20% in 2008, faring better than many of its peers and many large investment funds. Mr. Gates didn't disclose the current size of the foundation's endowment, but the drop implies a value of $30 billion to $31 billion.
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