MEXICO CITY - Carlos Slim Helu was clearly annoyed. He had invited dozens of foreign correspondents to lunch one day last fall and, after many questions about business trends, one journalist pressed him on how it felt to be worth so much in a country in which many people struggle to get by.
Mr. Slim cut off the questioner and defended his stewardship of a vast business empire. His curt tone made clear that he did not favor that line of questioning.