Friday, November 13, 2009

The World's Most Powerful People

Forbes Magazine, for the first time, has come out with a list of “The World’s Most Powerful People”. The magazine allotted one slot for each 100 million people in the world for a total of 67 slots.

What are the criteria for ranking? There are 4 of them.

1. Do they have influence over lot of other people?

2. Do they control large financial resource?

3. Are they powerful in multiple spheres?

4. Do they actually use their power?

They first ranked all the candidates in each of these 4 dimensions. The individual rankings were averaged into a composite score which determined who was ranked above whom.

Here are the top 10 powerful people in the world:

1. Barack Obama, President, United States of America
2. Hu Jintao. President, People’s Republic of China
3. Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister, Russia
4. Ben Bernanke, Chairman, U.S. Federal Reserve
5. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Founders, Google
6. Carlos Helu, Chief Executive, Telmex, Mexico
7. Rupert Murdoch, Chairman, News Corporation
8. Michael Duke, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores
9. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, King, Saudi Arabia
10. William Gates III, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

There are 5 Indians on that list. They are:

36. Man Mohan Singh
44. Mukesh Ambani
50. Dawood Ibrahim (yes, the same Dawood Ibrahim)
55. Lakshmi Mittal
59. Ratan Tata

Three bad guys made the list. Osama bin Laden (37), Joaquin Guzman, Mexican drug trafficker (41), and Dawood Ibrahim (50).

Oprah Winfrey (45) is the only entertainer.

John Roberts, Jr. (49), Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, is the only person from the judiciary.

Three journalists made the list. William Keller (51), Executive Editor, The New York Times, Wadah Khanfar (54), Director-General, Al Jazeera, and Mark Thompson (65), Director-General, BBC.

I noted some interesting points.

Igor Sechin (42), Deputy Prime Minister of Russia is more powerful than Dmitry Medvedev (43), President of Russia?

Kim Jong II (24) of North Korea and Luis Silva of Brazil (33) are more powerful than Man Mohan Singh (36)?

We can take consolation that Man Mohan Singh (36) is more powerful than Syed Gilani (38), Benjamin Netanyahu (46), Nicolas Sarkozy (56) and Hugo Chavez (67).

Osama bin Laden (37) is more powerful than Syed Gilani (38)?

Dawood Ibrahim (50) is more powerful than Lakshmi Mittal (55) and Ratan Tata (59)?

If they give one slot for every 100 million people, then India should have received 11 slots on a mathematical basis. The highest place an Indian could get is 36. This will bring down many Indian leaders to reality.

Following is the total breakdown:

1 Entertainer, 1 Judiciary, 3 Bad guys, 3 Journalists, 20 Leaders of countries, 39 Rich industrialists or people associated with money.

In the end, money talks. You have money. You have power. That is the bottom line.


  1. hmm, interesting..but when i am reading those points for the criteria, I wonder - do these people fit in all four? well, only criminals fit in the third criteria as they are dons as well as industrialists as well as social service activists and what not...errr, me and my weird mind...

    but indeed, an interesting list..

  2. Thanks for your comments Neha. Third criteria is multiple spheres. Multiple means more than one. It can be even two, unless it is in Sanskrit. Every language has singular and plural. Sanskrit is the only language where there is singular, doubler, and plural.(This is just to show off my Sanskrit knowledge) Therefore, if someone has influence over other people and also control a huge amount of money, then they have multiple spheres. Money need not be their own personal money.

    Bill Clinton, ex-President of USA, is ranked 31. When he was President of USA, he visited Salt Lake City, Utah. He was about to make an official visit to India at that time. He went to a book store in Salt Lake City, accompanied by all his secret service agents, and bought 2 books on India. He gave his credit card and it was not accepted because he had no money. He borrowed some cash from his body guard and paid for the books.

    Think of a political leader like Karunanidhi going to a bookstore and the owner charges for the book. That bookstore will be burnt within a minute.

    Bill Clinton had influence over billions of people. Controlled large financial resource. But, personally, very poor at that time.

    Man Mohan Singh influences lot of other people. Controls large financial resource.

  3. hmmm, that comment of yours extended your post :)

    and now time for me to show off...i have learnt Sanskrit for around 8 years...the grammar part mainly...I can translate little n cannot speak much - the reasons why I do not tell ppl about me having the knowledge of this language, as for them if you know the language, u must be able to speak it grammar part is pretty I always have a big smile on my face whenever I see you comment or quote anything in Sanskrit..n u do not show off at all btw..:))

  4. Thanks Neha. It feels good if someone praises. I feel happy.

  5. I read this too...:-D
    But only the list. I didn't; know all these details. Thanks SG for sharing, interesting. I was perplexed to see Osama Bin Laden and Dawood on the list though

  6. Nic "the DICK" Sarkozy at #56 is a joke.
    No Frenchman should ever be on this list or any other relevant list.
    What are the French good for besides rude behavior and letting Germany roll into their country untouched?
    Then the French will kiss your ass so you can liberate their nation.
    If it wasn't for the Americans, British, and Russians...the national language of France would be German.

    What does Nicolas have going for him besides having a hottie for a wife?
    He may be the only politician in the world who has a model for a spouse.

    Carla Bruni

  7. Thanks for your comments Insignia. I am also perplexed to see Osama and Dawood in that list.

    The Forbes Magazine gave only the list and criteria. I analyzed the list for this posting.

  8. Thanks for your comments Carla. Nicolas Sarkozy is only half French. His dad is a Hungarian immigrant. So it is ok.

    There is a saying in Tamil. Nadhi Moolam Rishi Moolam ketka koodaadhu (Don’t enquire into the origins of River and Saint.) I am going to add Penn Moolam (origin of women) also. In other words, the less said about you and your origin is better.

  9. hii
    thanks for sharing this information :)

    yups! right! 'when money speaks no one checks the grammar'

  10. Thanks for your comments AS. You are absolutely right. When money speaks no one checks the grammar. You know why my posts are grammatically perfect? Top secret between the 2 of us. Don’t tell any one. Whenever there is a quote from Sanskrit in my post, it is written by Neha. Whenever there is a quote from Tamil, it is written by Insignia. They are my 2 ghost writers. Please don’t tell anybody. Ha ha ha.

  11. Interesting read...truly is the most important and powerful thing in today's materialistic world. No doubt about it...39 is the proof :)
    Great post!

  12. Thanks for your comments Varsha. Looks like money is power.

  13. Strange list. I guess their criteria was all wrong. Powerful/notorius vs Powerful/popular . For a noted publication - Forbes should have chosen their criteria with care.

  14. nice and interesting....
    only consolation is that our great prime minister Mr. Man Mohan managed to come a step above Osama bin laden... thank god for that...
    and how come Mrs Sonia Gandhi has not featured in it? considering the fact that she is more powerful than Mr P.M himself... strange...
    a real eye opener.. i hope our great leaders notice the point you have made...

  15. Thanks for your comments Radha. I think what Forbes Magazine is trying to say is bad guys are also "powerful". If only good guys are powerful and bad guys are all less powerful, this world will be a safe place.

  16. Thanks for your comments Tanmaya. And, welcome to my blog. Sonia may be strong on Criteria Number 1. But she is not strong on Criteria Number 2 (Control large financial resource) and 3 (Powerful in multipla spheres).

    Yes Tanmaya it is a real eye opener.

    Please visit this blog as often as you can.

  17. wow.. what an analysis.. u jus teared it apart.. i too knew the list.. well money seems to be the only tool which man created to control himself..

  18. Thanks for your comments Vishnu. Thanks for your complements also. Yes, money talks.

  19. Not at all surprised that younger Presidents beat M. Singh! :P

  20. Interesting :) Money is indeed powerful.

  21. The Rule of Gold....those who have it rule!

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