New York: When it comes to power, politics trumps business, according to a new Forbes ranking on Wednesday that found heads of state occupying six of the top 10 spots among the world's most powerful people, led by US President Barack Obama. 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. The list's highest-ranked businessman was Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at No 4. US 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 United States and China," Michael Noer, Forbes' executive editor, told Reuters in an email. 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 US 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
08:24 AM, Dec 06, 2012