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 'The World's Most Powerful People'
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Forbes 'Most Powerful' list offers some surprises

1. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

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2. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America

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3. Xi Jinping,  General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People's Republic of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission

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4. Pope Francis, Reigning pope of the Catholic Church

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5. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, leader of the Christian Democratic Union

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6. Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the United States of America

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7. Bill Gates, business magnate, former chief executive and chairman of Microsoft

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8. Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank

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9. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google

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10. Larry Page, co-founder of Google

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11. David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

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12. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, King of Saudi Arabia

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13. Warren Buffett, business magnate, chairman, CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway

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14. Li Keqiang, Premier of the People's REpublic of China and party secretary of the State council

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15. Carlos Slim & family, business magnate

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16. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

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17. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of

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18. Francois Hollande, President of France

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19. Jamie Dimon, current chairman, president and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase

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20. Ali Hoseini-Khamenei, Supreme leader of Iran

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21. Rex Tillerson, chairman, president and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation 

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22. Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of General Electric

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23. Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and chief executive of Facebook, Inc.

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24. Michael Bloomberg, 108th mayor of New York City

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25. Charles Koch, co-owner, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Koch Industries

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27. Timothy Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.

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28. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel

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29. Lloyd Blankfein, CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs

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30. Li Ka-shing, Chairman of the Board of Hutchison Whampoa Limited and Cheung Kong Holdings

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31. Doug McMillon, President and chief executive officer of Walmart Stores, Inc.

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32. Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group

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33. Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil

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34. Rupert Murdoch & family, executive chairman of News Corp and Chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox

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35. Christine Lagarde, Managing director of the International Monetary Fund

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36. Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation

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37. Jay Y Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics

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38. Lee Kun-Hee, chairman of Samsung Group

Photo Credit: JUNG YEON-JE via Getty Images


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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