So why can’t the Grey Lady scrape by with a little more profit? Forbes just announced it’s annual rankings for the wealthiest people world-wide, and Carlos Slim Helu – who in 2008 became the largest shareholder in The Times and arguably saved the paper from bankruptcy – has been announced the #1 richest person.
With a net worth of $53.5 billion, Slim just managed to squeak by Bill Gates, the previous front-runner, who was estimated at $53 billion. (That .5 billion dollars makes a difference, apparently!) The Guardian sees Slim’s ranking as a changing of the guard:
Traditionally dominated by Americans and Europeans, the top ranks of the world’s richest people have been infiltrated by scores of ultra-rich entrepreneurs from the developing world – capped by the Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim…
Economists say that a rapid rise in super-wealthy individuals from the developing world reflects the pace of globalisation, with cross-border stockmarkets allowing international investors to pump funds at the touch of a button into major corporations in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
What’s more interesting to us is that even though Slim made his fortune in telecommunications, he’s most known in American media for his ties with The Times. So by beating out Bill Gates, maybe what we’re seeing here is actually a backward trend of billionaires becoming richer by investing in old, not new, media.
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