Thursday, April 12, 2007

Holy Cow, I Think He's Gonna Make It

You may recall us bitching about Carlos Slim, the who became the third-richest man in the world by charging us way to much for spotty phone coverage. We noted that Slim was in fact rocketing up the Forbes Robber Barron List, having made 19 (this is not a typo) billion dollars last year, and could be the fattest of the fatcats before too long. Well, hold on to your hats, sports fans - "Charlie Hustle" just stole second.

A Mexican telecom tycoon has become the second richest man in the world, pushing US investment guru Warren Buffett into third place and breathing down the neck of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Carlos Slim Helu quietly slipped past Buffett at the end of last month thanks to his rising stock, and was valued at the close of trade Wednesday at 53.1 billion dollars, 700 million dollars more than Buffett, Forbes.com reported Wednesday.

...Slim, 67, has added a staggering 23 billion dollars to his personal fortune over the last 14 months, thanks largely to a strong Mexican economy and a stock market that jumped nearly 50 percent last year.

He accrued four billion dollars of that just since Forbes unveiled its annual rich list in early March, giving Slim the equivalent of roughly seven percent of Mexico's annual economic output, according to Forbes.

Four billion dollars since early March. Of 2007. In a country with as much wrenching poverty as Mexico, you could do a lot of good with that kind of money.

He has derided Gates and Buffett for giving away so much of their wealth, reportedly saying: "Poverty isn't solved with donations," according to Forbes.

Ah. Apparently, poverty is solved by providing shitty phone service at extortionate rates.

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