Carlos Slim Becomes Mexico’s Biggest Boss
Some Mexicans may be putting their hopes of economic recovery on the world’s third wealthiest citizen, Carlos Slim Helu. But are they looking for help in the wrong man?
Slim, the Mexican mogul that has built his wealth in the telecommunications industry, was declared on Monday by Mexican news outlets as the largest employer in that country with an estimated 220,465 Mexicans working for him. Only Wal-Mart trails Slim in payroll size with 170,000 workers.
Currently, Mexico is facing the worse economic recession since 1995:
In the first quarter of the year, the number of people employed in the country fell 405,000 from the like 2008 period, according to Inegi’s quarterly survey released May 15.
In addition to the 2.3 million unemployed, 3.4 million people were underemployed, meaning they were looking for additional jobs or to work more hours. (Source: Dow Jones)
With Slim’s net worth of about $60 billion, the news media is saying that Mexicans are looking at the mogul to help rebuild the economy with his influence in almost every industry in Mexico and some in the US.
At a February forum in the Mexican Congress, Slim shared his vision for Mexico’s and Latin American’s potential to come out of the recession:
Our countries have the strength; our countries, I am talking about Latin America, have the best strength in terms of exchange in these last years, we have oil; other countries have sorghum, or wheat, etc., and we also have minerals.
We have an economic strength, our countries, and we have to take care of it and apply it very carefully in order to avoid these physical collapses.
Slim critics, however, continue to condemn the magnates’ “monopolistic practices.” A Mexican writer by the name of José Alberto Betanzos Salgado wrote an article online two weeks ago accusing Slim of being nothing more than a thief who is just trying to elevate his statute:
“The media outlets that are honest and well informed know that this personality is a lier who has built his wealth by Telmex’s monopoly… he manipulates his businesses so that they grow at the expense of Mexicans.”