Friday, April 13, 2007


In second place, and coming on rapidamente:

A modestly dressed Mexican with a taste for expensive cigars, baseball memorabilia and bonsai trees has overtaken the American investor Warren Buffett as the world's second richest man and is quietly closing in on Bill Gates as the richest man on the planet.

Carlos Slim, a magnate whose empire supplies Mexicans with everything from cheap flights to cigarettes, has seen his fortune soar by more than £4 billion (£2.02 billion) in two months to $53.1 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

....Since last year, his fortune has increased by $19 billion because of a strong Mexican economy and soaring stock prices for his businesses.

...."It's virtually cradle to grave," Prof George Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, told the Los Angeles Times. "You are engulfed by Slim in Mexico."

....The workaholic's charitable foundations have benefited hundreds of thousands of Mexicans. He has funded hospitals, a national archive and an art museum named after his late wife Soumaya, including works by Degas, Monet and the largest Rodin from her private collection.

Mr Slim recently told Forbes that his vision of a businessman's role differed to that of Mr Buffett, who is to donate $ 1.5 billion every year to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Our concept is more to accomplish and solve things - not going around like Santa Claus," he added. "Poverty isn't solved with donations."

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