Diamonds and Dogs

Carlos Slim Numero Uno

Forbes magazine recently released their list of the richest people in the world. For the first time ever, a person from a developing nation, Mexico, is now considered the richest in the world as Carlos Slim hurdled over Billy Gates and Warren Buffet to gain the top crown. Carlos Slim is a telecom tycoon, reportedly worth over $53 billion. Like it or not, sometimes the billionaires come from much improvised areas, think the Middle East. But it also points to something investors can take advantage of and that is you really need to have exposure to the growth that is happening in emerging stock and bond markets. The success of Carlos Slim helps to validate the case for investing where the growth is, and that includes scary economies like Mexico.

Speaking of scary economies, last night the salaries of New York State employees was released with our embattled, but lovable (especially if you write for Saturday Night Live) governor ranking about 800 with his wages. What stuck out to me was the sheer number of state employees, many of them benefits rich union workers. It takes almost 290,000 employees to run the state of New York. To put that in perspective, that is about 80,000 more people than live in the third most populated city, Rochester. The weight of this number is crippling the Empire State and Muni-bond investors need to be prudent as we head into the summer.

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