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The Carlos Slim Indicator

Posted in Emerging Markets, Equities, Private Wealth by teslik on March 12, 2010

Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecoms magnate, recently became the World’s Richest Man, according to the new Forbes Billionaires list. This is not the first time Slim has held the title. He briefly became the WRM in early 2007, slightly before mayhem broke out in the credit markets, at which point emerging markets were riding high. Emerging markets are again riding high, and onlookers have been speculating for months now about whether a new bubble might be forming. Not to be cute, but it’s not unreasonable to watch to see if there’s some loose correlation here. Clearly, Slim’s fortune mushrooms when emerging markets post strong growth — and perhaps it peaks when price levels are getting a little heady. Were market conditions to rupture, I don’t think credit markets would be the epicenter this time, so I’m not suggesting new problems would mirror those of 2007-2009. All the same, however, it’s worth considering whether the Carlos Slim Indicator might have something to tell us about the valuation of emerging market assets, and what that in turn might say about the trajectory of asset classes more broadly.

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