Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Who is the World’s Richest Man?

In today’s time of recession and austerity, the last thing the average person wants to think about is the lives of the rich and famous. However sometimes it’s interesting to ponder on such things. With this in mind, we have decided to look at the world’s richest man and his background.

So who is the richest man in the world?
The simple answer to that is the Columbian Carlos Slim. He’s not a famous celeb but an industrialist who has seen his fortune rise to the levels seen by no other human being in history. His father was a very successful man having purchased prime real estate in 1911, so it stands to reason that his son would follow suit on the same path.

Image credit: itupictures
Mr Slim recently surpassed Bill Gates to become number one on the list of billionaires. As of 2012, he has been the richest man in the world for the third year running. His wealth was achieved through his clever investments during the early 1980s. At this time Mexico was under a process of nationalisation of the banks after the devaluation of the currency. During the recovery in 1985 he bought up large percentages of principle businesses such as Reynolds Alumino and General Popo. He is the chairman of and chief executive of two of the country’s largest companies, namely America Movil and Telmex. He later acquired 50% of the Hershey’s brand as well as 40% of the Mexican division of American tobacco. Since the 1980s, he has been acquiring businesses left right and centre. He is worth a colossal $69 billion despite being one of the world’s biggest philanthropists. 

Mr Slim is also the Vice President of the Mexican Stock Exchange as well president of the Mexican Association of Brokerage Houses. In May 2011, he donated $4 billion to his charitable foundation.


He has also ventured into sponsorship and in 2011 he sponsored the Sauber F1 team. Prior to that, he had considered buying the Honda Formula One team.


There has been some criticism directed towards the billionaire, the main one being that he has made his fortune in a nation with a very low per capita income. It also hasn’t gone unnoticed that he has a virtual monopoly on the Mexican landline telecommunications industry due to Telmex’s 90% share of the industry. It is said that Slim’s personal fortune is actually worth 5% of Mexico's annual economic output which does nothing to inspire those who are struggling to make ends meet.


More recently, Carlos has managed to escape a record Mexican fine of an eye-watering $925 million, which was imposed a year ago by Mexico's antitrust commission against America Movil - Slim’s most valuable asset (which accounts for more than half of his net worth)!


Thanks to Ladbrokes for their contribution.

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