Forbes 'Most Powerful' list offers some surprises

Forbes 'Most Powerful' List Offers Some Surprises
Forbes 'Most Powerful' List Offers Some Surprises

The leader of the free world is not the most powerful person in the world. No, according to Forbes, that title once again belongs to this man:

Forbes published its list of the 72 most powerful people in the world, complete with GIF of the list's #2 President Obama awkwardly looking over at #1 Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It's the second straight year Putin took down the Forbes most powerful title.

Peter Lavelle, RT host asked, "Regularly demonized in the West, he scores high marks among the Russians and other people around the world. What is it about Putin that generates so much interest?"

Granted, that's state-run network RT, but "Putin Phenomenon" isn't much of a stretch.

The man has developed something of a cult status over the years, and it's remarkable that status currently has little to do with being the leader of a country that hosted the Olympics only 10 months ago ... or getting his head put on Hercules paintings.

This year alone, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, many argue it's funded and supported the separatists in the conflict in Ukraine and it struck a deal with China to build a massive gas pipeline.

As Putin's Forbes profile page notes, "Russia looks more and more like an energy-rich, nuclear-tipped rogue state with an undisputed, unpredictable and unaccountable head unconstrained by world opinion in pursuit of its goals."

The rest of the top five past Putin and Obama rounds out with #3 Chinese President Xi Jinping, #4 Pope Francis and #5 German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Fed chair Janet Yellen followed Merkel marking the first time since Forbes started the list in 2009 that two women made its Top 10.

CBS This Morning's anchor's couldn't help notice a man much further down Forbes' list, the Sunni militant leader who's caused widespread devastation and massacres in northern Iraq and Syria: "ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is perhaps the most notable of the 12 newcomers on the list. He ranks at #54."

Forbes says it bases its rankings on financial resources, the person's scope of power, how they use that power and the number of people they can impact with their decisions.

Check out the Top 25:

1. Vladimir Putin
2. Barack Obama
3. Xi Jinping
4. Pope Francis
5. Angela Merkel
6. Janet Yellen
7. Bill Gates
8. Mario Draghi
9. Sergey Brin and Larry Page
10. David Cameron
11. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud
12. Warren Buffett
13. Li Keqiang
14. Carlos Slim & family
15. Narendra Modi
16. Jeff Bezos
17. Francois Hollande
18. Jamie Dimon
19. Ali Hoseini-Khamenei
20. Rex Tillerson
21. Jeffrey Immelt
22. Mark Zuckerberg
23. Michael Bloomberg
24. Charles Koch and David Koch
25. Timothy Cook

For the full list, visit

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