Wednesday, March 17, 2010

中國資本主義,美國社會主義?/ Chinese Capitalism and American Socialism?

If you had asked me abt 20 years ago whether China would ever venture into capitalism, I would have replied "Impossible !!" At the time, the "Tank Man" story was hitting the front-page and people were reminded of China's hardliner position during the Cultural Revolution, But then the Berlin War fell, the USSR dissolved, China opened up its economy and joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the rest is history (for now anyway).

Similarly, who would have predicted that Mr. Obama, an African-American (on his father's side) would occupy the Oval Office and that General Motors GM would become "Government Motor"!! So, while China is pushing state-owned factories to embrace capitalism Chinese version, the US and Canada are intervening heavily into the automobile industry by taking 60 and 12% ownership of the once iconic giant. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama is struggling to reform the US health system, a proposal that some label as opening the door to socialism American style.

But behold !!! Did we just learn that a Mexican tycoon has replaced Bill Gates as the richest man on earth and that some of the billionaires are from the People's Republic of China?

Well, all to say that in a globalized economy, predictions have become more difficult and that the only constant is change.


Bill Gates no longer world's richest man
Matthew Miller and Luisa Kroll, Forbes
Published: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Carlos Slim Helu takes No. 1 spot on Forbes World's Billionaires list as a record 164 10-figure titans return to the ranking amid the global economic recovery. For the third time in three years, the world has a new richest man.

Riding surging prices of his various telecom holdings, including giant mobile outfit America Movil, Mexican tycoon Carlo Slim Helu has beaten out Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the wealthiest person on earth and nab the top spot on the 2010 Forbes list of the World's Billionaires.

Slim's fortune has swelled to an estimated US$53.5-billion, up US$18.5-billion in 12 months. Shares of America Movil, of which Slim owns a US$23-billion stake, were up 35% in a year. That massive hoard of scratch puts him ahead of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, who had held the title of world's richest 14 of the past 15 years.


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