World’s Most Powerful People
Forbes, the magazine famous for compiling lists of the world’s best/most/biggest/richest people/organizations just gave us a new compilation.
The world’s most powerful people.
In compiling our first ranking of the World’s Most Powerful People, we wrestled with these questions–and many more–before deciding to define power by four dimensions. First, do they have influence over lots of other people? Do they control relatively large financial resources compared with their peers? Are they powerful in multiple spheres?
The top choice seems obvious enough. The man who won a Nobel peace prize without really achieving anything concrete; the man who captured the world’s imagination; the president of the United States (and the master of the universe). Barrack Obama. Following him are Chinese premier Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Four Indians feature on this distinguished list of 67 people, one per 100 million people on the planet. Which means that only 400 million Indians are represented. (The others are poor enough to not matter.)
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh comes in at 36. Dalai Lama is 39.
Soft-spoken Sikh economist won landslide re-election victory despite sharp slowdown, poverty and non-Hindu faith. Credited with transforming India’s quasi-socialist economy into world’s second-fastest-growing. As finance minister (1991-1996), abolished cumbersome “Licence Raj” requirements and opened up India to foreign investors and outsourcing. From the “fences make good neighbors” file: “We all know the epicenter of terrorism in the world today is Pakistan.” Has nuclear arsenal at disposal. [link]
Mukesh Ambani is 44. Lakshmi Mittal is 55. Ratan Tata is 59. French president Sarkozy comes in at a relatively lowly 56. Funnily enough, there is no Sonia Gandhi in the list. Dawood Ibrahim is. As is Osama bin Laden.
It’s very hard to quantify the power that people hold in contemporary world, but this list beats me. How is the president of Brazil more important than the president of France? How is the CEO of Walmart more powerful than these two heads of state? How is the CEO of TelMex more important than the CEO of Walmart? How are the Google founders more powerful than the Pope!?
Is this list a fascinating reflection of changing world dynamics where industrialists, politicians, and drug traffickers hold equal power over the masses? Or is it just a bad attempt at picking the world’s most important people?