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Memo From Middle America (Formerly Known As Memo From Mexico) | Carlos Slim, Other Mexican Billionaires Get Richer—But Still Want To Dump Their Poor On Us
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June 03, 2011, 05:00 AM
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Mexico is poorer than the U.S. But by world standards, it`s not a poor country.

Whether you follow the statistics of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank or the CIA, Mexico`s Gross Domestic Product (calculated with Purchasing Power Parity) is around one and a half trillion dollars. Mexico thus has the world`s eleventh largest economy.

Mexico`s GDP (PPP) per capita, is, according to the IMF, $14,430 at #59. According to the World Bank, Mexico is ranked at #48 with $14,335. The CIA puts it at $13,800 at #64 (out of 194 listed countries). (World GDP(PPP) per capita is $10,700.)

In the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), Mexico is #56 out of 169 countries (with Zimbabwe at the bottom of the list).

Nevertheless, according to the Mexican government`s own official criteria, 44.2% of the population lives in poverty. Of this segment of the population, by the government`s own standards, around 10% live in "extreme poverty".

One salient feature of the whole wealth and poverty issue in Mexico is the presence of super-rich Mexicans, including billionaires. (That`s dollar billionaires, not peso billionaires).

Mexico is home to the world`s richest man—telecom mogul Carlos Slim, who has his hand in all sorts of businesses in Mexico.

For years we`ve been writing about Carlos Slim here at VDARE.COM.

Here are my articles on Slim for VDARE.COM and Mexidata.info : click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Click here for articles on Slim by Brenda Walker and Steve Sailer.

Each year, Forbes magazine publishes a list of the world`s billionaires and ranks them.

This year, once again, Carlos Slim of Mexico was still #1. In fact, his fortune has increased to 74 billion dollars. That`s right, 74 billion belongs to him and his family.

After Slim on the Forbes list  are Bill Gates with 56 billion, Warren Buffett with 50 billion, Frenchman Bernard Arnault with 41 billion, and Larry Ellison at 39. 5 billion.

Not only is Slim still the richest, man—he was the world`s biggest gainer among billionaires. As Forbes explains,

"The world`s richest person for a second year in a row, the Mexican telecom mogul is also the year`s biggest gainer, having added $20.5 billion to his fortune and widened the gap between him and no. 2, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, to $18 billion. A 19% rise in the Mexican stock market, a stronger peso, and successful mining and real estate spinoffs from conglomerate Grupo Carso all contributed to the astonishing increase. He also merged his fixed-line telecom company into America Movil, Latin America`s largest wireless carrier; the Slim family stake in that holding accounts for 62% of his net worth. He has other holdings in retailer Saks and the New York Times. Recently opened a new building for his Soumaya Museum, which houses his vast art collection. It is open to the public for free." [Carlos Slim Helu & Family, Forbes, March 2011]

Carlos Slim made most of his fortune from his acquisition of Telmex back during the Salinas administration. Since then, he`s shown his ability to increase wealth and to make pragmatic relationships with politicians of different parties. I have no doubt he´ll be dealing with the new president to be elected in 2012.

Slim`s eldest son, 43-year old Carlos Slim Domit, looks to be his right-hand man and is being groomed to succeed him.

Last October, Carlos Slim Jr. was married to longtime blonde girlfriend, 27-year old Maria Elena Torruco Garza, in a church in Polanco, Mexico City`s ritzy district.

Festivities were attended by 2,500 guests, including a who`s who of the globalist elite. Guests included former U.S. president Bill Clinton, second-richest man in the world Bill Gates, former Mexican president Vicente Fox and wife Martha, the up and coming governor of the (confusingly named) State Of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto (who may be the next president of Mexico). There was media billionaire Emilio Azcarraga and TV host Carlos Loret de Mola Jr. (son of journalist Carlos Loret de Mola who wrote a 1982 column calling for a reconquista of the Southwest through immigration).

Mexican journalist Joaquin Lopez-Doriga was there, as was pundit Guadalupe Loaeza. And also present were Miami Cuban (of Lebanese descent) bandleader/musical producer Emilio Estefan and Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Lopez. These are the globalist circles the Slim family moves in. (See photo of the happy couple here.)

Carlos Slim, as I`ve reported before, doesn`t think that the U.S. should be selective about the Mexican immigrants we accept, and doesn`t even think we should fence off the border.

I personally don`t begrudge Slim his wealth. But I think that he could be doing a lot more with his fortune to create jobs in Mexico. Having the world`s richest man in your country could potentially be an asset for job creation. But despite the fact that Slim has $74 billion (!) he only has 229,000 employees (!!) It just seems to me that, with the money he has, he could hire a lot more people than that. In any case it`s not his right to opine about our immigration policy.

But Slim is not the only billionaire in Mexico. Here are ten others acknowledged by Forbes:

  • German Larrea Mota Velasco mining magnate of Grupo Mexico, worth $16 billion, the 39th richest man in the world. German Larrea doesn`t give interviews and Forbes could not even obtain a photograph, but I did, it`s here. Metals prices were rising this year, which helped him gain $6.3 billion, he and his family own half the company.
  • Alberto Bailleres Gonzalez and family worth $11.9 billion, another mining magnate, CEO of Penoles, gained $3.6 billion in the past year. Also CEO of luxury retailer Palacio de Hierro, insurance company Grupo Nacional Provincial, pension fund manager Grupo Profuturo. See photo here.
  • Ricardo Salinas Pliego and family, worth $8.2 billion. Salinas Pliego holds the reins of TV Azteca, second biggest broadcaster in the nation, and Grupo Elektra (electronic retailer) wireless carrier Iusacell. Photo here.
  • Jeronimo Arango and family, with $4 billion. They sold their stake in Cifra to Wal-Mart and made a bundle. Jeronimo now lives in Los Angeles. Photo here
  • Emilio Azcarraga Jean has $2.3 billion and is CEO of Televisa network. Azcarraga is competing head to head with Carlos Slim. Televisa has a cable TV unit which is nosing its way into Slim`s monopoly, selling cable TV, phone and Internet. In December of 2010, in a deal approved by the U.S. Justice Department, Televisa made an agreement with the U.S. Univision network. Televisa now owns 5% of Univision and the two networks have agreed to broadcast some of each other`s programs. Photo here.
  • Roberto Gonzalez Barrera and family have $2 billion Gonzalez is founder and executive of Gruma (world`s biggest tortilla producer, includes Mission brand) and also has a big stake in the Banorte bank). Photo here.
  • Roberto Hernandez Ramirez is worth $1.2 billion. Hernandez was formerly CEO of Banamex when said bank was purchased by Citigroup, got 2 billion out of that deal and a position on the Citigroup board where he remained until 2009. Photo here.
  • Alfredo Harp Helu (Slim`s cousin) has $1 billion dollars. Harp made most of his money in the 2001 sale of Banamex to Citigroup. Now runs Grupo Marti (sporting goods chain) and has a baseball team. Photo here.
  • Joaquin "el Chapo" Guzman, worth at least $1 billion, is CEO of the Sinaloa drug cartel, which has an enormous profit margin and is expanding to Central America. Photo here.

There may actually be many more Mexican billionaires. In her article Finding Mexico`s Missing Billionaires Kerry Dolan explains why it`s not always easy to confirm their fortunes. She believes that at least the following family groups, though not on the official list, would qualify: Martin Bringas family and Martin Soberon family of retail department store chain Soriana (about which I did a positive article here); Cynthia and Bruce Grossman of Grupo Continental (Coca-Cola bottling and juices); and the Jorba Servitje family with part of the Grupo Bimbo bread company.

The bottom line: there is a lot of money in Mexico. And there are wealthy individuals and families who could probably create more jobs in Mexico for Mexicans.

This is a part of Mexican society that more middle-class Americans should be aware of. The next time you are at the receiving end of a guilt trip over Mexican poverty as an open borders justification, you might bring it up.

And wouldn`t it be great if our own leaders would bring up the vast fortunes of Carlos Slim and other Mexican billionaires the next time Mexican politicians take to meddling?

American citizen Allan Wall (email him) recently moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.