- Jul 29, 2007
Portly and often puffing a cigar, Slim could pass for a latter-day Latin American J.P. Morgan. But with his dominant stakes in everything from phones to finance, his business profile more closely resembles that of John D. Rockefeller, who likewise thrived in a loosely regulated environment. (For the record, though, even in current dollars Rockefeller's wealth pales in comparison to Slim's: At his death in 1937, Rockefeller was worth $20.3 billion, representing one fifty-second of 1937 U.S. GDP.) The average Mexican encounters a Slim-owned business when she visits an ATM, drives a car, stops for coffee, and especially when she picks up the phone - Slim's TelÃ©fonos de MÃ©xico controls 92% of the country's phone lines, and his AmÃ©rica MÃ³vil wireless service has a 70% market share. George W. Grayson, a professor of government at the College of William & Mary, coined the term "Slimlandia" to describe how entrenched the Slim family's companies are in the daily life of Mexicans.
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