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Top 10 Most Powerful People in the World: Forbes 2011

By on November 4, 2011
Top 10 Most Powerful People in the World 2011

Forbes annually reports the list of the most powerful people in the world.

This year from the 7 billion people living on this planet they have chosen the 70 who matter and who can have a big impact on the world.

Creating the list of the most powerful people in the world Forbes takes into account 4 main factors:

  • The number of people they have under the power
  • The financial resources they control
  • The number of spheres they have an influence
  • Their activities in making the best of their power to change the world

This year Obama regained his top 1 place in Forbes’s list of the most powerful people in the world. Last year this place was taken by China’s president Hu Jintao.

  1.   Barack Obama–#1 most powerful person

“Sure, his jobs bill was gutted, his debt-ceiling negotiating was derided and his popularity has plummeted, endangering his reelection, but Obama regains his position as the most powerful person on the planet this year. Why? Despite faddish American declinism, the U.S. remains, indisputably, the most powerful nation in the world, with the largest, most innovative economy and the deadliest military. Plus, Obama’s only legitimate rival for the title, last year’s number one, Chinese President Hu Jintao, is diminishing in influence as he gives up political office.
2011 Highlight: Took out the world’s deadliest terrorist in May.”

In the second place is Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who was #4 last year.

       2.  Vladimir Putin–#2 most powerful person

“Loyal lapdog Dmitry Medvedev recently announced he will not be seeking reelection as Russian president, setting up his mentor, Putin, for the job some would argue he never really gave up. Assuming that he serves 2 more terms, the increasingly autocratic Putin will be in office until 2024. Take that, Stalin!

2011 Highlight: Push for new Eurasian economic union of Russia and several former Soviet republics, including Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine, by 2015.

In the third place is Hu Jintao- President, People’s Republic of China, who was #1 last year.  

 3.  Hu Jintao–#3 most powerful person

“Hu currently holds all 3 offices required to be considered China’s Paramount Leader: Communist Party General Secretary, President and Commander in Chief. But as part of a well-orchestrated succession plan, he will gradually give up his titles over the next few years, starting with the most important one– General Secretary–next year. His presumed successor, Xi ­Jinping, will assume the ­pres­i­den­cy a year later.
2011 Lowlight: In a rare display of independence, Chinese media exposed government cover-up of a deadly bullet train crash in July.”

In the fourth place is the world’s most powerful woman—Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was #6 last year

    4.  Angela Merkel–#4 most powerful person

“The world’s most powerful woman heads Europe’s most vibrant economy and is widely viewed as the de facto leader of the EU. A recent poll in France showed that the French have more faith in Germany’s leader (46%) than in their own president, Nicolas Sarkozy (33%). Germany must take bolder measures toward resolving the euro zone debt crisis, despite the political risks to Merkel’s ruling coalition. Half-­measures will not do.
2011 Lowlight: Refused to ­support NATO air strikes in Libya.”

In the fifth place is Bill Gates—the world’s second richest man, who was at #10 last year. 

In the fifth place is Bill Gates—the world’s second richest man, who was at #10 last year.

  5.  Bill Gates–#5 most powerful person

“Microsoft’s software wizard and the world’s second-richest man is having the most productive midlife crisis in history. His focus on creating, promoting and distributing vaccines is having a massive impact on global health. Gates’ goal is to eliminate infectious disease as a major cause of death in his lifetime. He may succeed (see story, p. 88).
2011 Highlight: Malaria vaccine he backed ­recently passed a key clinical trial. The vaccine has the potential to save millions of lives.”

In the sixth place is Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud—The King of Saudi Arabia, who was at #3 last year.

In the sixth place is Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud—The King of Saudi Arabia, who was at #3 last year.

6.  Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud#6 most powerful person

“One of the world’s few remaining absolute monarchs, King Abdullah has continued to pursue an agenda of moderate reform in the desert kingdom that contains 20% of the world’s known oil reserves and Islam’s 2 holiest sites. Recently granted women the right to vote in local elections and has consistently nudged the nation’s educational system out from under clerical control. Yet al Saud is no liberal: He opposed the Arab Spring, spending more than $130 billion on social projects designed to quell any domestic pro-democracy movement.
2011 Lowlight: His younger brother, Crown Prince Sultan, died in October. Half-brother Prince Naif is the likely successor.”

In the seventh place is the Pope of Roman Catholic Church–Benedict XVI, who was at #5 last year.

   7.  Benedict XVI–#7 most powerful person

“The spiritual leader to one-sixth of the world’s population–1.2 billion souls–delivers the final word on matters of abortion, gay marriage, female priests and, most recently, Occupy Wall Street. In October the Vatican called for a supranational authority to oversee the global economy: “To function correctly the economy needs ethics, and not just of any kind but one that is people-centered.” 

2011 Lowlight: Two victim groups asked the International Criminal Court to ­investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict XVI for covering up instances of sexual abuse.”

In the eighth place of the most powerful people in the world is Ben Bernanke–The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, United States of America, who had the same position last year.

  8.  Ben Bernanke–#8 most powerful person

“After 2 rounds of quantitative easing, the last of which injected some $600 billion into the U.S. economy, Bernanke is not ruling out QE3, yet another round of money creation. Most recently Bernanke has launched Operation Twist, an attempt to drive long-term interest rates even lower by manipulating the Fed’s $1.7 trillion portfolio of U.S. government debt.
2011 Lowlight: All of the GOP presidential candidates have vowed that they will fire Bernanke if elected.”

In the ninth place is Mark Zuckerberg—The Founder of Facebook, who was #40 last year: this is a real flight for a 27-year-old man, isn’t it?

  9.  Mark Zuckerberg–#9 most powerful person

“What the CIA failed to do in 60 years, Zuck has done in 7: knowing what 800 million people–more than 10% of the world’s population–think, read and listen to, plus who they know, what they like and where they live, travel, vote, shop, worship. U.S. users spend more time on Facebook–on average 6.3 hours a month–than on any other site. The Harvard dropout is now creating his own monetary system, ­Facebook Credits, to facilitate transactions and profits. With a net worth of $17.5 billion, he is now America’s 14th-richest man.
2011 Highlight: The movie inspired by his life, The Social Network, which depicts Zuckerberg as a coldhearted dweeb, won 3 Oscars.”

The top ten of the most powerful people in the world is completed with David Cameron—The UK’s Prime Minister, who was #7 last year.

  10.   David Cameron–#10 most powerful person

“Once hailed as the second coming of Margaret Thatcher, the British P.M. now serves as the U.K.’s punching bag. Cameron faces a splintering coalition and rebellion from within as Conservatives balk at his refusal to withdraw from or renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU. Even there, he has few friends. “You have lost a good opportunity to shut up,” France’s Nicolas Sarkozy recently sneered at Cameron when he insisted on attending a meeting on the euro crisis. “We are sick of you criticizing us and telling us what to do. You say you hate the euro, and now you want to interfere in our meetings.”
2011 Lowlight: Phone-hacking scandal engulfs Cameron, who had hired former News of the World editor Andrew Coulson, now a criminal suspect, even after revelations of the tabloid’s snooping began emerging.”

The biggest surprise of this year’s Forbes’s list of the most powerful people in the world was the presence of Mark Zuckerberg in ninth position.

I wonder which place would take Steve Jobs if he was still alive: last year he was the 17th most powerful person in the world.

Do you agree with Forbes’s top 10 list? Who would you include if you were them? Share with us your opinions!

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