mumba


Bill Friday tries to answer that question for us … by print time of his article, Carlos was not yet considered the world’s richest man but now you know the rest is history … thanks a trillion.

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask of that old Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Slim.” – Jim Croce.

1902

A young man flees persecution in his home country and travels half way around the world to find a new home and a new way of life. How many times have we heard that one? But what if the young man was born in Lebanon? And what if the country he emigrated to wasn’t the U.S., but Mexico?Here begins the story of Carlos Slim.

Carlos Slim is the son of Julian Slim (Yusef Salim) Haddad, a Lebanese Christian (non-Muslim) who left his own country for a better (read: longer) life at the southern end of North America. Through hard work and shrewd investments – yes, Mexican investments – buying land in downtown Mexico City following the revolution of 1910, the elder Slim became a successful businessman.

And the son picked up right where his late father left off.By the age of 26, Carlos Slim had an accumulated wealth of $400,000. He had married the future mother of his six children. Armed only with a degree in civil engineering and a big pile of money (Mexico in 1936 money), he began buying things. Lots of things. Businesses. Skip ahead forty years.Carlos Slim is rich.

Sorry, I may have understated that a bit. Carlos Slim is RICH!. Ridiculously, excessively, non-stop, stinking, light your cigars with million dollar bills RICH! So rich, that his cumulative wealth is estimated somewhere between thirty billion (Forbes) to FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS (Reuters; Fortune). So rich, that in 2006, he saw his wealth increase $2.2 million per hour (Belfast Telegraph).

Although the majority of his money has come from the telecommunications industry, Slim’s holdings also include five insurance companies (valued at $1.5 billion), a Mexican retail chain (pretax annual profit, $500 million), a mining company, an auto parts manufacturing company, a bank, a tobacco company, oh, and another mining company. All told, Slim’s companies account for almost one-half of the value of the Mexican stock exchange.

And before you think Carlos Slim’s empire stops at the Mexican border, south-of-which 4 out of every 5 cell lines and 9 out of every 10 land lines are owned and operated by him, think again. Have you ever bought anything at Comp USA? The computer you’re reading this article on, maybe? You just added to the man’s not-so-slim portfolio. Designer purses? How about Saks Fifth Avenue where the slim pickins aren’t so slim? Cha-ching! He owns them both. In the time it took you to read this paragraph, Carlos Slim just made $18,000.

Now before you jump from your Comp USA computer chair and shout, “Bastardo Codicioso!” (that’s “Greedy Bastard!” en Español), hear what else this man, who one day soon will be the richest in the world, has done.

In 2006, from endowments to and through his foundations, Carlos Slim donated $1.8 billion to charitable cause including giving away 95,000 bicycles to children of poor families to ride to their schools, 70,000 pairs of eyeglasses, and scholarships to 150,000 university students.

Similar donations over the last ten years start to read like a box score. They include 66 million bikes and 10 million pairs of contact lenses.

He even donated thousands of laptop computers to students, thus providing them access to the Internet. As early as next week, Carlos Slim plans to announce a new plan to donate upwards of 10 billion more dollars over the next four years to help fund Mexican health and education programs.

Add to it the fact that Slim’s companies also employ 250,000 Mexicans.

So how come a large segment of his own people don’t trust him?

Remember the laptops? When the students accessed the Internet, whose ISP did they use?

Do you own a PC or a Mac? If you own a Mac, do you trust Bill Gates? The very fact that you can own a Mac allows you to rest a little easier even while knowing that Bill Gates is the richest man in the world. Do you like Coke? No? Well then, at least there’s Pepsi.

If you’re a Mexican citizen, Carlos Slim is Microsoft, Apple, Coke, Pepsi and GM all rolled into one. In spite of all of Slim’s charitable contributions, Mexico’s working class just doesn’t trust him.

In the last year, this distrust took the form of satire. A cartoon of Slim, depicted as a boxer lying flat on his back in the ring as he crushes a tiny opponent appeared in the Mexican newspaper La Reforma. In the drawing, telephone lines make up the ropes around the ring. Beneath the cartoon a caption reads, “Billion Dollar Baby”.

Around the same time, in a segment on the Mexican TV show, “La Verdad Sea Dicha” (“The Truth Be Told”), a mocking news anchor shoves a pie into the mouth of a papier maché effigy of Slim.

But this attitude is also found in the academic community, where many find the practice of making giant public donations a questionable cover for something else.

One professor, Denise Dresser of the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, points out, “In Mexico, the perception is that public deeds are done for personal gain.” In another interview Dresser adds that “a growing public consensus that Slim’s attempts to block competition are hurting the Mexican economy.” She goes on to say, “He wants to ward off those criticisms.”

Dresser is not alone.

George Grayson is an expert on the subject of Latin American politics. For the last 38 years he’s been a faculty member of The College of William and Mary. When interviewed by the L.A. Times on the subject of Mexico’s lack of economic competition, Grayson said, “It is still full of public and private monopolies and bottlenecks.”

In a country where the power of wealth is controlled by a relatively few tight-nit grupos, all of which together are known as “The 100 Families”, the largest monopoly by far is controlled by Carlos Slim.

Once more from Dresser. “Mexico has a dense, intricate web of connections between the government and the business class. This ends up creating a government that doesn’t defend the public interest… It is rather willing to help its friends, its allies and, in some cases, its business partners thrive at the expense of the Mexican people.”

So, what of the monopoly created by Carlos Slim? If Slim has done this much for his own people, whether some trust him or not, shouldn’t we rise from our Comp USA computer chairs and applaud?

Economists say that Mexico actually loses money due to the monopolies controlled by Slim and The 100 Families, causing Mexico’s per capita income to fall to less than $7,000, leaving the country in poverty.

Ask the 10 percent of the Mexican population that currently lives in the United States why they left home.

And why, by working for the decidedly low wages generally available to “illegals” in this country, remittances sent back to Mexico by these workers totaled a record $20 billion in 2005.

So what will it take to, once and for all, bring Mexico to a place where its own citizens will want to return? Slim himself defines his own role in the process.

“My new job,” says Carlos Slim, “is to focus on the development and employment of Latin America.”

If he means employ at a working wage commensurate with the rest of Norte America, he doesn’t say.

So what more will it take for Slim and, for that matter, the rest of the wealthiest of Mexico’s power brokers to satisfy the skepticism of the Mexican working class that distrusts him so much?

Denise Dresser calls it a wish list. One that, “every Mexican committed to his country would ask from Santa Claus.” And that is?

“The day that you (Slim) give 80 percent of your personal fortune to an unselfish cause is the day that I will become your champion.”

Oh. Is that all.

Early next week, Carlos Slim plans to unveil another expansion of his vast charitable, educational and business infrastructural plan to the world.

Will it satisfy his biggest critics?

I guess we’ll see it in the funny pages.

Copyright © 2007 Bill Friday

 

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EVERETT, Washington (AP) — Boeing has raised the curtain on its first fully assembled 787 to an audience of thousands who packed into its wide-body assembly plant for the plane’s extravagantly orchestrated premiere.

“Our journey began some six years ago when we knew we were on the cusp of delivering valuable new technologies that would make an economic difference to our airline customers,” Mike Bair, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, told the crowd.

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/787/      http://www.boeing.com/companyoffices/gallery/images/commercial/787/k63450-03.html       http://widebodyaircraft.nl/b787.htm

“In our business, that happens every 15 years or so, so you’ve got to get it right.”Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney said the 787 will bring about a “dramatic improvement in air travel: to make it more affordable, comfortable and convenient for passengers, more efficient and profitable for airlines, and more environmentally progressive for our Earth.

Boeing has won more than 600 orders from customers eager to hold the jet maker to its promise that the midsize, long-haul jet will burn less fuel, be cheaper to maintain and offer more passenger comforts than comparable planes flying today.

The 787, Boeing’s first all-new jet since airlines started flying the 777 in 1995, will be the world’s first large commercial airplane made mostly of carbon-fiber composites, which are lighter, more durable and less prone to corrosion than aluminum.To date, Boeing has won 677 orders for the 787, selling out delivery positions through 2015, two years after Airbus SAS expects to roll out its competing A350 XWB. Thirty-five of those orders came Saturday, with Air Berlin ordering 25 and a Kuwaiti company taking 10 for Kuwait Airways.

In a rare tip of the hat to the competition, Airbus congratulated Boeing on the 787, whose commercial success has chipped away at the edge the European plane maker once held over its Chicago-based rival.

“Even if tomorrow Airbus will get back to the business of competing vigorously, today is Boeing’s day — a day to celebrate the 787,” Airbus co-CEO Louis Gallois said in a letter to McNerney.

“Today is a great day in aviation history. Whenever such a milestone is reached in our industry it is always a reflection of hard work by dedicated people inspired by the wonder of flight,” the letter said.Airbus customers forced it to redesign the A350, which pushed back production. Airbus also has faced problems with its A380 superjumbo, which has been hit with delays that slashed profit projections for Airbus’ parent company, European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co.

Boeing hired former NBC “Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw to serve as master of ceremonies for the 787 premiere — held, probably not coincidentally, on 7-08-07 — which was broadcast live on the Internet and on satellite television in nine languages to more than 45 countries.

The company rolled out red carpet and set out roughly 15,000 seats for spectators at one end of the 787 factory north of Seattle.The company invited thousands of its employees and retirees to watch via satellite at the NFL stadium where the Seattle Seahawks play, and it hosted viewing parties for 787 customers and suppliers in dozens of other locations around the globe.

Final assembly of the first 787 started in late May, after a gigantic, specially outfitted superfreighter started flying wings, fuselage sections and other major parts to Boeing’s wide-body plant, where they essentially get snapped together, piece by huge piece.

Once production hits full speed, the company expects each plane to spend just three days in final assembly, but this time, Boeing workers spent several weeks installing electrical wiring and other innards that suppliers will eventually stuff into their sections of the plane before they’re delivered to the assembly plant.

Boeing decided to handle that work in-house for the first few planes rather than risk any production delays.Despite a few snags the company says it anticipated — including an industry-wide shortage of fasteners brought on by a surge in demand for new jets in recent years — Boeing officials say nothing so far has threatened to bump the 787 behind schedule.

The first test flight is expected to take place between late August and late September. The plane is set to enter commercial service next May after Japan’s All Nippon Airways receives the first of the 50 Dreamliners it has ordered.

All Nippon Airways executives acknowledged Sunday that Boeing faces production challenges, but they said they’re doing what they can to make sure they get their plane on time next spring.“We know it’s not easy to make that deadline. However, we will support Boeing, and we will work with them so that the deadline can be met,” Osamu Shinobe, executive vice president of corporate planning for All Nippon Airways Co., said before Sunday’s rollout ceremony.

The 787 that debuted Sunday will serve as the first of six flight-test airplanes, while two other planes will be used for static and fatigue tests. The ninth plane off the assembly line will be the first one delivered to All Nippon.

The 787-8, the first of three 787 models Boeing has committed to making, has an average list price of $162 million, though customers typically negotiate discounts on bulk orders.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. 

 

br-01-2.jpg North Korea is the last Stalinist state on earth, and the latest country to join the nuclear club. Secretive, isolated, heavily militarized and desperately poor, it took steps in the 1990s toward thawing relations with South Korea, but has spent much of the last few years in a still unresolved set of negotiations with its neighbors and the United States over its nuclear program.

North Korea has taken a consistent anti-Washington line since its creation in 1948, denouncing both the United States and South Korea as a puppet of the west. Since the end of the Korean War in 1953 the North has not attacked its neighbor, but to this day keeps large concentrations of troops and artillery focused on Seoul, and has regularly engaged in provocations like kidnappings, submarine incursions and missile tests over the Sea of Japan.

The country’s founder, the so-called Great Leader, Kim Il-sung, was succeeded at his death in 1994 by his son, the “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-il, an eccentric playboy invariably seen (in his few public appearances) in platform shoes and a khaki jumpsuit.Read More… In 1994, North Korea reached an agreement with the United States to shelve its nuclear program. In 2002, President Bush included Pyongyang in the “axis of evil,” and American officials charged later that year that North Korea had violated the earlier agreement.

Pyongyang declared the agreement void and expelled international nuclear inspectors. China joined with the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia for what became known as the six-party talks.

In 2005, an agreement was reached and then scuttled by North Korea, angered by an American-led crackdown on banks doing business with it.On Oct. 9, 2006, North Korea set off a nuclear device – a small one, which apparently did not detonate completely, according to experts on seismic recordings. Governments around the world condemned the blast, including China, which has been Pyongyang’s chief protector for decades.

In a policy shift, American officials agreed to meet with North Korea for one-on-one talks concerning the financial crackdown.In February 2007, an agreement was reached under which North Korea would shut down its plant at Yongbyon, at which it had manufactured nuclear bomb fuel, in return for shipments of fuel oil.

Early deadlines for action under the agreement came and went, with North Korea charging that funds from frozen bank accounts had not been returned. But after the funds made their way back to Pyongyang after a complicated series of transactions, the government announced in June 2007 that it was allowing international inspectors to return. – Ford Burkhart, May 31, 2007… thanks a trillion

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr. 

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle 

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle.  All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc. 

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc. 

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/northkorea/index.html?excamp=OVGNnorthkorea

brainwave-sr-001-3.jpgone-zambia-one-nation.jpg 

The Zambian Enterprise is proving to be the best destination for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in south-central Africa. From 2001 todate, foreign direct investment has more than quadrupled in some instances ranging from economic activities such as mining, tourism, manufacturing and financial services. 

The biggest recipients are tourism and mining and there is need to increase the manufacturing base of the enterprise as soon as possible. This is because such endeavors tend to increase skill for the nationals in highly technical fields, which are the basis for prosperity and economic sustainability.  

Thus far, thus good and the Zambian Enterprise is on the right path to economic recovery with the ability to continue attracting more FDI unsurpassed by any rival in the region but there still remain serious worries as to why real GDP is under 6% annualized … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr. 

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle 

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle.  All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc. 

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.

story.bush.ap.jpgUS First Lady Laura Bush is coming to Zambia … she is probably the first lady for a sitting president to visit Zambia and this is great news for the Zambian Enterprise. The reason it is great news is because every time such a high profile figure close to the American presidency visits a nation for whatever reasons, the world tends to look, see and or want to take notice.

This is great development and we at the Zambian Chronicle want to wish the First Lady a beautiful stay and hope she gets to enjoy all that our enterprise has to offer, welcome aboard Madame First Lady and we wish you God’s speed … thanks a trillion. 

The question always arises and it almost always seems impossibrainwave-sr-002_edited.jpgble to find the right variables and mix to the total alleviation of poverty in developing nations but almost always the answers seem to be based on effects rather than causes of poverty. 

I will start a new series of articles totally committed to the topic of poverty alleviation for the next few months and try to comb through what I consider to be the antithesis of this mammoth dinosaur. 

Today, I will start by addressing some myths that have generally been floated around as excuses for this problem and in the future look at other folklores that seem to perpetrate poverty instead of totally alleviating it. 

I will also take some time to intellectually circle this wagon with honesty and understand that there will always be poverty some place but not to the extent we happen to see and experience on the continent of Africa. 

Having said the above here are what I consider myths as earlier mentioned … 

v      Rich nations, philanthropies and individuals have to do more to help in poverty alleviation 

v      If only the world could share its wealth equally, there would be no poor nations and or individuals in the world 

v      Governments need to be fully involved if poverty has to be totally alleviated 

v      Donor nations need to give more and allow the locals to manage the said donations for local projects to be fully successful 

v      Charities and NGOs are a great help and should further be encouraged in micro-finance 

v      The locals always have to seek outside help to solve local problems 

v      Education, skills and entrepreneurship are not basic needs; enough donations and imported skills can substitute the former. 

These are just but a few myths and sometime next week, I will expound on the same … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.
CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle
www.zambianchronicle.com
   

Mutinta - UPND is better off without UNIP and FDD
Mutinta – UPND is better off without UNIP and FDD
Anderson Mazoka’s widow Mutinta has advised the UPND to pull out of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) because it has done nothing for the party. …

*** to post your comment, click on the “Comments” link above and scroll down to the bottom, contribute accordingly … thanks a trillion ***

http://www.postzambia.com/post-read_article.php?articleId=26557