Barack Obama leads 2012 Forbes power list, Manmohan Singh 19th
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A number of prominent people fell off the list entirely. Chinese President Hu Jintao had ranked number two on the list last year and was the most powerful person in the world in 2010. With a new regime in place in China, Jintao is however on his way out of office, having already handed over some of his duties. He would surrender the rest early next year.
In compiling the list, Forbes considered hundreds of candidates from various walks of life all around the globe.
It took into consideration factors including whether the candidate has power over lots of people, the financial resources controlled by each person, whether they are powerful in multiple spheres and the active use of the candidates' power.
(Reuters adds) When it comes to power, politics trumps business, according to a new Forbes ranking on Wednesday that found heads of state occupying six of the top 10 spots among the world's most powerful people, led by US President Barack Obama. The annual list selected what Forbes said were the world's 71 most-powerful people from among the roughly 7.1 billion global populace, based on factors ranging from wealth to global influence.
Obama was joined in the top 10 by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia and British Prime Minister David Cameron. The list's highest-ranked businessman was Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at No 4. US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, both public officials, also made the top 10.
"This year's list reflects the changing of the guard in the world's two most powerful countries: the United States and China," Michael Noer, Forbes' executive editor, told Reuters in an email. Noer noted that China's President Hu Jintao, last year's third most-powerful person, fell off the list as he is leaving power, and his successor, Xi Jinping, ranked ninth instead.
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