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Nate: 'To your point about overly ambitious execs in foreign lands, I don't know that I'd characterize Castro-Wright as a foreign executive wandering into the Mexican market blind. He is Ecuadorian, and had worked in Latin America for quite a while before joining Walmex.'

Local execs often are no less grease-happy. Partly because they get to dish out favors to their contacts, and partly because they too can take a cut. After all, who's checking?

'store growth didn't really ramp up until 2005 onwards with real growth starting in 2008. There is a lag between bribe and build, but it shouldn't be more than 2 years in a market like Mexico.'

Interesting point!

WSJ's Holman Jenkins reminds us that we tend not to question good news, whether as investors or as businessmen, regardless of how unusual it is:
"senior management in Bentonville, Ark. will not get far by pleading dumb: Its stores in Mexico were thrown up with conspicuous alacrity."

He concludes:
"After heads have rolled, after careers have been ruined, will Wal-Mart shareholders be secretly thankful that Wal-Mart executives sacrificed themselves in order to secure a winning place in Mexico?"

Investors desperate for some signs of life from this dormant giant may well feel like celebrating. Until they realise the price for this 'success' will be paid in many markets worldwide, many times over, mainly because of WMT's in-your-face self-righteous stance
GG Home Fool
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