Obama tops Forbes’ most powerful list

Obama tops Forbes’ most powerful list

NEW YORK - Reuters
Obama tops Forbes’ most powerful list

US President Barack Obama. AFP photo

Forbes named U.S. President Barack Obama “most powerful person” in the world in its annual power ranking while excluding Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan out of the list.

The annual list selected what Forbes said were the world’s 71 most-powerful people from among the roughly 7.1 billion global populace, based on factors ranging from wealth to global influence. Obama was joined in the top 10 by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Erdoğan was on ranked as 48th in 2011 in Forbes’ list.

The list’s highest-ranked businessman was Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at No. 4. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, both public officials, also made the top 10.

“This year’s list reflects the changing of the guard in the world’s two most powerful countries: the U.S. and China,” Michael Noer, Forbes’ executive editor, said. Noer noted that China’s President Hu Jintao, last year’s third most-powerful person, fell off the list as he is leaving power, and his successor, Xi Jinping, ranked ninth instead.

Both U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who have stated they will not be serving in Obama’s second term, were not in this year’s rankings.While elected and appointed officials and business people made up the vast majority of Forbes’ most powerful, Pope Benedict XVI placed fifth in the rankings.

To create the rankings, which Forbes readily concedes bore a measure of subjectivity; editors graded candidates on four criteria for power: Power over many people, control over financial and other valuable resources, power in multiple spheres or arenas and active use of power.