World’s Richest Man Attacks Wall Street Bailouts

World’s Richest Man Attacks Wall Street Bailouts (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 25, 2011):

The Wall Street bailouts have been a chief target of criticism by the Occupy Wall Streeters.

Now another crusader has weighed in on the issue, saying Washington has given too much money to bankers and not enough to the mass workforce.

The crusader? Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man.

“The monetary and the fiscal policies, which are very aggressive, should go more to the real economy,” Slim told reporters at a conference in Geneva. “It’s going in some way more to the financial economy.”

His comments, of course, are rich with irony, given the importance of government to his own telecom’s fortune. And it’s easy for a Mexican billionaire, who doesn’t pay U.S. income taxes, to call for more government spending.

Yet Slim explained that the Fed’s actions and fiscal stimulus has flowed more to finance rather than the real economy.

He said the solution is to have the government spend more on “development programs” that are funded by businesses and individuals (presumably wealthy individuals).

“The structural change will come from more investment in the private sector,” he said. “Instead of stopping the investment in the public sector and creating austerity programs, which creates unemployment, it’s better to rely on a development program financed by the private sector.”

Easier said than done, of course.

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