Putin surges up Forbes ‘most powerful people’ rankings

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo)
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the early favorite in next year’s presidential elections, was listed by Forbes magazine as the second-most powerful man in the world.

In 2010, Putin ranked number four on the Forbes list of most powerful people.

The annual list is a who’s who of the world’s movers and shakers – from the world of entertainment to politics. Among some of the people who appeared on the list were Chinese President Hu Jintao, who ranked third behind Putin and US President Barack Obama, who holds the top spot.

Both Obama and Putin will be running for the presidencies of their respective nations in 2012, which could make for some colorful politics if both are voted into office. Incidentally, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who forged the reset in US-Russian relations with Obama, took the 59th spot in the list.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel remains the most powerful woman in the world at No. 4 on the list, followed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Pope Benedict XVI, US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

According to Forbes, the ranking takes into account four factors. “First, how many people a person has power over; second, the financial resources controlled by each candidate, whether that is revenues (for a company), GDP (for a country) or net worth (for a billionaire); the third criteria considers whether a candidate is influential in more than one arena or sphere.

Finally, Forbes magazine took into consideration “how actively the candidates wield their power.” This measure excludes “heirs to great fortunes, semi-retired industrialists and former heads of state.”

In all, 70 individuals made the final list, or, to put it another way, one for every 100 million people on the planet.

Robert Bridge, RT