This is a sequel to the posts: The People Who Matter, and The 72 Who Rule the World. Welcome to Gotejas.com – below is Forbes’ list of the 10 most powerful people.
First, at #10:
10. Larry Page
Lawrence “Larry” Page is an American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur who co-founded Google Inc. with Sergey Brin, and is the CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. As the CEO of Alphabet, he commands immense influence across the world – so much so that “Google” had become a word in the dictionary, before he handed over his position to “the search giant’s product czar,” Sundar Pichai. [From the New Oxford Dictionary of English, “google” is a verb, defined as (to) search for information about (someone or something) on the Internet using the search engine Google.]
9. Narendra Modi
For the next entry, we have the enigmatic, conservative Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, who has created a name for himself by traveling across the world, and hosting President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping in India. He’s also commanded over 7% NGDP growth in India in the first term of his office. Oh, and he loves selfies.
8. David Cameron
David Cameron is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, holding on to his spot at 10 Downing Street, having been reelected this May. “He now presides over the country’s only conservative majority government in 23 years. The Conservative leader is fond of Twitter – he has 834,000 followers – and selfies, most famously the shot with Barack Obama and then Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt during Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in 2013.”
7. Janet Yellen
“Janet Yellen made history in 2014 when she became the first female head of the Federal Reserve. The Yale and Brown educated economist has barely had a moments rest since then: She took over shortly after the central bank began unwinding its recession era bond buying program and then deftly ushered markets through six cuts that brought monthly purchases to $0 from a peak of $85 billion. Now the Fed could loosen the economic reigns further by beginning to hike interest rates as soon as December 2015 — a feat that was anticipated earlier in the year but hasn’t attempted since 2004. With so much at stake a single word from Yellen can send asset prices swinging.”
6. Bill Gates
Bill Gates is the richest person alive. His net worth, as of the day of writing, is $79.4 billion. “It’s a landmark year for the world’s richest man. Bill Gates and his friend Paul Allen launched Microsoft 40 years ago with the goal of getting a computer on every person’s desk. Now, 84% of U.S. households own a computer. Fifteen years ago, Bill and Melinda Gates started their charitable foundation with the goal of reducing inequity, and have put more than $30 billion to work toward that end.”
5. Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping is the President of China. But the Chinese premier controls the government…so why’s President Jinping on this list? Because he’s the General Secretary of the Communist Party, and the Communist Party is the only party in the world’s largest-growing economy. “Xi Jinping holds all three offices required to be China’s paramount leader, becoming what some have called the most powerful Chinese ruler since Mao Zedong. Xi was quick to see the benefits of privatization-friendly reforms and further signs of fresh thinking are everywhere. He has a surprisingly assertive public profile, even allowing the state media to publish a day-in-the-life account of his workday.”
4. Pope Francis
Francis I is the Bishop of Rome, “the spiritual leader to one-sixth of the world’s population — 1.2 billion souls. Pope Francis has made it his mission to transform the longstanding conservative image of the Catholic Church. The pontiff made a six-day visit to the U.S. in September, addressing Congress and the United Nations and urging actions on issues including climate change, immigration, and the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.”
3. Barack Obama
Barack Obama is the head of state and head of government of the United States – the most powerful person in the world’s largest economy and most powerful country. The U.S. is nigh-omnipotent, and is the sole global superpower. So why’s Obama only in place #3? “There’s no doubt that the United States remains the world’s greatest economic, cultural, diplomatic, technological and military power. But as Obama enters the final year of his presidency, it’s clear his influence is shrinking, and it’s a bigger struggle than ever to get things done. At home, his approval ratings are perpetually stuck under 50%.” And he’s outmaneuvered by our #2 in Europe, and #1 in the Middle East.
2. Angela Merkel
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues her reign as the most powerful woman on the planet for 10 years running. Why? She clinched a third four-year term of Europe’s most vibrant economy in December 2014, making her the longest-serving elected EU head of state. She fought off a national recession during the global economic crisis with stimulus packages and government subsidies for companies that cut hours for workers, and she is in the thick of trying to help Greece revive its economy.”
Before we go to #1, some honorable mentions…
Designation – President, European Central Bank
Designation – Premier, China
Designation – second richest person in the world; CEO, Berkshire-Hathaway
Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud
Designation – King, Saudi Arabia; Custodian of the Holy Two Mosques
Carlos Slim Helu
Designation – Honorary Chairman, America Movil
Now, onto #1….
1. Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin is the President of Russia. “Russia’s president continues to prove he’s one of the few men in the world powerful enough to do what he wants –and get away with it. International sanctions set in place after he seized Crimea and waged war-by-proxy in the Ukraine have kneecapped the Ruble and driven Russia into deepening recession, but haven’t hurt Putin one bit: In June his approval ratings reached an all-time high of 89%. In October, he bombed ISIS forces in Syria and then met face-to-face with President Assad, making the U.S. and NATO look weak in the region, and helping rebuild Russian influence abroad.”
That’s why Putin’s the most powerful person in the world.