Tuesday, July 10, 2007
mr slim is mr fattest
what an irony that the world's fattest cat(read richest person) should have a name called slim. till yesterday i thought bill gates is the world's richest man.i was surprised when i read in a financial daily that one carlos slim,a lebanese mexican tycoon had overtaken him and is now the world's top dog. his net worth is estimated at 67.8 billion us dollars against 59.2 billion us dollars of bill gates. a lead of 8.6 billion us dollars. with that polevault jump of slim, warren buffett slides down to no3 position among the world's richest.
known as the "telecom king" of mexico, slim is the chairman of telmex,mexico's largest telecom company. thanks to the boomimg mexican stock market which has grown by 58% in one year, his fortunes have also swelled. also known as "engineer" because of his engineering degree, he has a diversified range of interests- real estate,construction,banks,cigarettes,components for oil platforms, hospitals,etc. so much so, that it is said in mexico that from the time a mexican child is born,money is being put in slim's pocket.
mexico like india has a wide rich-poor divide. a fraction of mexico's population is rich and the massive majority is poor, half the population living on less than 5 us$ a day. slim and his family are estimated to own assets worth 8% of mexico's gdp. a simple calculation shows that for bill gates to achieve the same status in the united states, would mean that his fortune will have to go up to 13 trillion us$.
will he also be as philanthropic as bill gates and warren buffet and become the world's largest donor? that remains to be seen. charity begins at home,they say. to be fair to slim, he has already shown his readiness to do something for his people. bicycles to rural school children and free operations for the poor are some of the projects he has undertaken. he has set up various trusts and foundations through which schools and hospitals are being run for the poor and needy. he is investing through a for-profit organisation into infrastructure which would help his country to lift itself from the present morass. with vast financial resources at his command, he is in the best position to do so. after all is he not known for his midas touch? he would then be justifiably hailed by his people for not only being the world's richest man but also the one with the biggest heart. the 67 year old man with a head for numbers knows that when he dies he cannot carry his fortunes with him. after all he has lots of 'sentido coman'(common sense) which incidentally is also the name of the financial publication he founded.