Carlos Slim has a history of intimidating the press, but not the New York Times, which strives manfully to dish the dirt on Mexico’s richest man today, even though he just lent the paper $250 million. Slim loves making such big investments in media companies, but he hates the spotlight and tends to use his financial might to suppress bad press.
One Mexico City journalist, for example, saw a 2006 piece criticizing Slim killed after the billionaire threatened to pull all his advertising from the paper. “That’s how things work here,” he says. But as the recession deepens, Slim’s critics are multiplying, and he may soon be unable to silence them all. President Felipe Calderón recently rebuked Slim’s economic pessimism, and the Federal Competition Commission is exploring antitrust action against him.