February 3, 2011

It was a very good year for Carlos Slim

Whenever  I read about how it's America's moral duty to take in Mexicans, it warms my heart to think that at least one Mexican won't have to be leaving his family and home behind. From the Wall Street Journal:
by Robert Frank

No, this isn’t an article about Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. It is about Carlos Slim, who has been pulling far ahead of his two closest competitors in the race for world’s richest man.

Bloomberg reports that Carlos’ publicly disclosed holdings soared 37 % to $70 billion in 2010. Meantime, Warren Buffett’s returns were a more modest 22%, while Bill Gates’ shares in Microsoft fell.

So how did Slim do it?

Mainly by keeping his money at home in Mexico and selling into the gold rush. Telefonos de Mexico, the state-owned monopoly he acquired, was a dud last year, but his stake in American Movil [his cellular spinoff of his monopoly] soared 15%....

His biggest loser was his stake in the New York Times, down 21%. 

You know, every time Carlos Slim picks up the NYT and reads an article or editorial pipelined straight from the SPLC about how only frothing-at-the-mouth racists worry about illegal immigration, I think he feels like he's getting his money's worth out of his bailout of the Times.
... Of course, it helps to have Slim’s overwhelming power and market share in Mexico, which is hard to replicate in many other countries.

Slim bought the Mexican telephone monopoly from the corrupt ruling party a couple of decades ago. Mexico has ridiculously high telephone rates, which reduces economic growth, which incentivizes more illegal immigration. But, Slim makes a fortune on expensive long-distance calls between Mexico and America, so it's all good.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Imagine we weren't around. Who knows; maybe we're the spinoff of a French colony only gaining independence last century, or whatever. How do you think Mexico would do? Brazil's been doing all right, and largely on their own merits, but they're still decidedly not first-world - too many dirt-poor people to count. Plus, Brazil has lots of white-whites. How would Mexico be doing if it weren't for us 1. buying their narcotics and 2. acting as a safety valve for the poor and criminal elements? My guess is Mexico would be a shade better than Haiti, but a pretty undesirable, dirt-poor place, perhaps just rising above Third World conditions.

RKU said...

Hey, privatization of large government enterprises worked out so well in Russia and Mexico that I'm really glad we're doing the same thing here in America...

And I think Slim's also been getting his money's worth from the WSJ, without even needing to invest a single dime...

slumber_j said...

Yeah, well, he should use some of that cash to clear his sidewalk at 82nd and Fifth next time there's an ice storm. I'm thinking about writing a letter to the Times about that...

Evil Sandmich said...

How to Invest like the World's Richest Man

Step 1: Become a third world kleptocrat.

DanJ said...

Why are you assuming high telephone rates reduce economic growth? Are people actually producing value by talking on the phone?

Anonymous said...

Slim, is of course a Lebanese Arab, with no particular ties to his Soanish/Amerind countrymen.
Blood ties meaning everything in the middle east, you can rest assured that Slim's money (ie the toil of the mestizos) finds its way back to Lebanon - probably letting some Lebanese madam overwork and abuse some Sri Lankan darkie housemaid whilst she's down at the beauty salon.

Anonymous said...

"Why are you assuming high telephone rates reduce economic growth? Are people actually producing value by talking on the phone?"

Huh? Monopoly pricing is above-market. Thus, there is a premium above the price that would obtain in perfect competition that each buyer is paying the seller that could go to other products. That's...basic economics, dude.

Mr. Obvious said...

Why are you assuming high telephone rates reduce economic growth? Are people actually producing value by talking on the phone?

Business is frequently dependent upon telecommunications. Artificially high telecommunication costs are an economic drag and reduce growth.

Even individuals forced to pay inflated telecommunication costs are left with less disposible income to pump through the economy.

The huge profits accrued to Carlos Slim do not circulate through the economy as efficiently as if it were in the hands of millions of peasants living hand to mouth.

Anonymous said...

i'm discovering with some and fascination that you are kind of a soft-socialist which is surprising to me because you're also against things that most socialist are in favor of (like affirmative action and diversity crap.)

strange.


ppl are complicated aren't they?

Anonymous said...

*Life expectancy in Mexico: 75.1 year
*70 percent of Mexicans are overweight or obese
*Mexican per capita GDP (PPP): $14,337

Truly, the people of Mexico are suffering.

Anonymous said...

You know what's funny? Mexico has laws on the books that allow them to racially profile foreigners and give job preferences to native-born citizens. Mexico is also building a border fence to keep out Central Amerian illegals.

Everything they criticize us for, they do themselves. Which tells you that this anger toward Arizona isn't about civil rights or human rights or doing the right thing........ It's about self-interest.... Mexico benefits from remittances from the U.S. and draining off the surplus population....... They know that we're a bunch of weak emphathetic pushovers that easily cry when we hear about "families being ripped apart" and "hardworking immigrants wanting a better life", so they employ this language at us.... Truth is that they don't believe in any of it and are motivated purely by political and monetary considerations.

For us to finally get tough on immigration wouldn't be particularly offensive.

Anonymous said...

@slumber_j said...clear his sidewalk at 82nd and Fifth

He bought the Met?

Giovanni said...

Would be interesting your comment about this article from "The Daily" the new Murdoch creature.

http://bit.ly/hqq51Q

Jonathan S said...

Steve,

The collusion between Mexican and U.S. elites recommends itself as the topic of your next book considering the paucity of public intellectuals who have knowledge of, expertise in, or the willingness to talk candidly about the subject.

The topic is a market, and you've cornered it.

Jonathan S said...

Anon: Which tells you that this anger toward Arizona isn't about civil rights or human rights or doing the right thing........ It's about self-interest.... Mexico benefits from remittances from the U.S. and draining off the surplus population.......

Mexico views its approach to revanchism like the childless bachelor looks at his nieces or nephews or friends' kids: all of the fun, none of the responsibility.

wmhde said...

BBC faces suit over Top Gear comments

http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/top-gear-faces-racism-test-case-following-mexico-comments-2524459.html

Anonymous said...

The three southernmost states of Brazil are very white-white: Venetian and German.

Yet, they are decidedly un-first world.

I think the nominal per capita of those regions is about $13k which is not much higher than the Mexican average $10k. (Not using inflated PPP measures.)

It's funny that those people have been such a disappointment that the world no longer thinks of them as white.

Anonymous said...

I think the nominal per capita of those regions is about $13k which is not much higher than the Mexican average $10k.

A trifling 30% higher then.

Im sure there are numerous factors at work though.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: "Whites" in Brazil are mostly Quadroons or Octoroons. One genetic study estimated that southern whites were about 80% Euro.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

i'm discovering with some and fascination that you are kind of a soft-socialist which is surprising to me because you're also against things that most socialist are in favor of (like affirmative action and diversity crap.)"

It's not socialism, it's populism - a belief that there's nothing wrong with people getting rich, but that the rich can't necessarily be trusted to do what's right for society as a whole. In it's more crass form, it's just taking care of business, i.e. jobs for the boys. Only when that instinct becomes intwined with the alien anti-human philosophy called marxism does it become socialism.

slumber_j said...

@Anonymous"He bought the Met?"

Just about, but he certainly bought the former Duke house across the street. And failed to clear the ice off the sidewalks the other day, unlike his neighbors.

Anonymous said...

'Duke house" ughh I love that place, I shutter to think of him in it (not that i have ever been in it).

Often when I walk down fifth from the met, I look at the buildings and think of whose in them.. certainly not core culture, native born americans. I wonder for example how 'un-wasp' is the Knickerbocker club....

Anonymous said...

His biggest loser was his stake in the New York Times, down 21%.
Thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

I like that Slim is the son of Lebanese immigrants. This highlights the fact Latin America is as much an immigrant region as the USA and Canada. Of course you'd never know this listening to the MSM.

In America the media push the narrative that we are a nation of immigrants to force us to accept even more. If Slim had been born in America, the media would bring up his Lebanese roots to reinforce this narrative.

I don't think most people realize the entire New World received immigrants, hence, the moniker. My parents, who came from Europe, could just have easily settled in Brazil as the USA. The difference then between North America and the rest of the New World is that our immigrants created successful cultures.

If you don't think culture is significant, then compare two Lebanese Christian immigrants to the New World. One, Carlos Slim, became the richest man in the world. The other, Danny Thomas, built St. Jude Children's Hospital. Which one would you guess was born in the US?

DanJ said...

Mssrs. Anonymous, Obvious,

You are right, of course. As a matter of economics, business needs telecommunications and a monopoly is seldom efficient.

I do think the benefits of telecommunication are much exaggerated, and it has become a distraction from actual productive work. Heck, it's distracting me right now!

Also, modern telecommunications have been essential to offshoring American and European industry. This has increased economic output, but it has also moved much of it to the Far East.