Top 7 Most Powerful People in the World in 2010

We already made post for the Top 7 Richest People in the World in 2010 and Top 7 Celebrities in 2010, but sometimes being rich and known is not enough to be powerful. Taking this into consideration, you may believe that Barack Obama would be the most powerful person in the world in 2010, but you’ve better check the Top 7 Most Powerful People in 2010:

1.Hu Jintao

Age: 68

Title: President

Organization: People’s Republic of China

Residence: Beijing, China

Country of citizenship: China

Marital Status: Married

Paramount political leader of more people than anyone else on the planet; exercises near dictatorial control over 1.3 billion people, one-fifth of world’s population. Unlike Western counterparts, Hu can divert rivers, build cities, jail dissidents and censor Internet without meddling from pesky bureaucrats, courts. Recently surpassed Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy both in absolute and purchasing power terms. Credible estimates have China poised to overtake U.S. as world’s largest economy in 25 years–although, crucially, not on a per-capita basis. Creditor nation oversees world’s largest reserves at $2.65 trillion–$1.5 trillion of which is in U.S. dollar holdings. Refuses to kowtow to U.S. pressure to change its exchange-rate regime. Heads world’s largest army (in size). His handpicked successor, Xi Jinping, set to assume the presidency in 2012.

2.Barack Obama

Age: 49

Title: President

Organization: United States of America

Residence: Washington, DC

Country of citizenship: United States

Marital Status: Married

Children: 2

Obama’s Democrats suffered a mighty blow in U.S. midterm elections, with the president decisively losing support of the House of Representatives, and barely holding onto the Senate. It’s quite a come-down for last year’s most powerful person, who after enacting widespread reforms in his first two years in office will be hard-pressed to implement his agenda in the next two. He can take comfort in the fact that he remains commander-in-chief of world’s largest, deadliest military, leader of world’s largest (in spending) and most dynamic economy and holds the unofficial title of “Leader of the Free World.”

3. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud

Age: 86

Title: King

Organization: Saudi Arabia

Residence: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Country of citizenship: Saudi Arabia

Marital Status: Married

Absolute ruler of desert kingdom that contains the world’s largest crude oil reserves, two holiest sites in Islam. State-owned oil producer Saudi Aramco has reserves of 266 billion barrels, or one-fifth of planet’s known supply (worth $22 trillion at today’s oil prices). Pushing for gradual social and legal reforms, while maintaining good relations with deeply conservative religious establishment. Ultimate succession unclear: 86-year-old king’s official heir is 82-year-old Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. Established committee of senior princes to ensure smooth transition in the event both become incapacitated.

4. Vladimir Putin

Age: 58

Title: Prime Minister

Organization: Russia

Residence: Moscow, Russia

Country of citizenship: Russia

Marital Status: Married

Prime Minister still more powerful than his handpicked head-of-state, President Dmitry Medvedev. Former KGB officer will likely replace protégé in 2012. In the meantime, has final say over one-ninth of Earth’s land area, vast energy and mineral resources. Declared nuclear power has veto on U.N.’s Security Council. Russian government agency reported to have already registered web address Putin-2012.rf. On running again: “The president of the United States, Roosevelt, was elected four times in a row because it did not contradict the American Constitution” (September 201o).

5. Pope Benedict XVI

Age: 83

Title: Pope

Organization: Roman Catholic Church

Residence: Vatican City

Country of citizenship: Germany

Marital Status: Single

Highest earthly authority for 1.1 billion souls, or one-sixth of world’s population. Staunch traditionalist deplores secularism, consumerism and moral relativism, unbending on birth control, gay marriage and ordination of female priests. Despite major gaffes (including lifting the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying Bishop and quoting a 14th-century source that declared the only new things the prophet Mohammed brought were “evil and inhuman”), appears genuinely interested in healing old wounds. In September, not only became the first Pope to visit Westminster Abbey since the Protestant Reformation, but also shook hands with a clergywoman (another first). Widening sexual abuse scandal could undermine moral authority, but increasingly willing to tackle issue head on: “Forgiveness does not substitute for justice.” Stylish: Has brought back traditional red, custom-made “pope shoes” and old-school Ecclesiastical headgear.

6. Angela Merkel

Age: 56

Title: Chancellor

Organization: Germany

Residence: Berlin, Germany

Country of citizenship: Germany

Marital Status: Married

Most powerful woman on the planet. Chancellor of Germany oversees Europe’s largest economy. Renowned free-market champion and favorite of big business, boasts nine public companies with annual sales in excess of $70 billion. In all, there are 57 German companies on the Forbes Global 2000 ranking of the world’s largest public companies, with aggregate sales of $1.7 trillion.

7. David Cameron

Age: 44

Title: Prime Minister

Organization: United Kingdom

Residence: London, United Kingdom

Country of citizenship: United Kingdom

Marital Status: Married

Youngest British prime minister in 198 years is product of privilege: Eton, Brasenose College, Oxford; is descended (illegitimately) from King William IV. Hailed by some as the second coming of Margaret Thatcher, Cameron shares the Iron Lady’s determination to slash government expenditures (defense, higher education), but as the leader of a coalition government he can ill-afford to repeat her brash divisiveness.

Source: Forbes

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