I must admit that personally I have always been a bit dim on Carlos Slim (though I have an uncle who had dinner with him once, which ideally might mean Mr. Slim should in good cheer give Undismayed a nice year-end bonus or something, but sadly if predictably yields nothing)
What little else I know I have gleaned from the always enticing elucidation over at Burro Hall (which I am chagrined to find is now on strike...)
So, this article on Slim, placing him in the context of other Third World titans and conglomerates was interesting and worth a read. (Perhaps I should have posted it a Burro Hall, but I fear not being sufficiently funny at this late hour.)
Foreign Policy: How Slim Got Huge
For Bill Gates to control a share of the U.S. telephone market similar to Slim’s reach in Mexico, Gates would have to own AT&T, MCI, Quest, Sprint, and Verizon—and even then, Gates would still only have less than 80 percent market share, well short of Telmex’s 92 percent. To match Slim’s overall market presence in Mexico, Gates would probably also have to own Alcoa, Phillip Morris, Sears, Best Buy, TGIFriday’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Marriott, Citibank, and JetBlue.
...China, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, is run by an authoritarian, largely unaccountable regime that seems likely to provide ever more lucrative opportunities going forward for “partnerships,” official and unofficial, between government and private enterprise. Meanwhile, it is unclear whether societies will tolerate an eternally expanding gap between rich and poor. Public anger over the concentration of wealth could eventually lead to increased trade protectionism, barriers to foreign investment, more direct state control over key industries, or something altogether more dramatic. Whatever the outcome, it’s possible that the Carlos Slims of the world could lead to one of the first great ideological battles of the 21st century.