US PRESIDENT BARACK Obama has reclaimed the title of the world’s most powerful person, according to Forbes magazine.
The list-loving publication released who it believes are the 70 leaders who matter the most in the world today and Obama was top of the pile.
Last year, the magazine had named Chinese President Hu Jintao as the world’s most powerful man so this comes as a reversal for the US President.
The Chinese leader dropped two places, coming in just third in the roll-call, behind Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Putin overtook Hu Jintao because of his recent decision to run again in the election to become president.
“Assuming that he serves 2 more terms, the increasingly autocratic Putin will be in office until 2024. Take that, Stalin!,” writes the magazine in its explanation for choosing its number 2.
Arguing for Obama’s number 1 position, Forbes said:
Despite faddish American declinism, the US remains, indisputably, the most powerful nation in the world, with the largest, most innovative economy and the deadliest military.”
The all-encompassing list includes heads of state, business and religious leaders, so-called opinion makers and criminals.
It takes four factors into account, including how many people a person has power over; the amount of financial resources under his/her control; how many areas is the candidate influential in and, finally, how active they are in public life.
Unsurprisingly, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest person on the list at age 27.
Ten people, including Oprah Winfrey, Dominque Strauss-Kahn and Naoto Kan, fell off the list this year for various reasons. The deaths of Steve Jobs and Osama bin Laden also saw their names leave the list.
No Irish person features on the list.
Here is the top 10:
Barack Obama (US)
Vladimir Putin (Russia)
Hu Jintao (China)
Angela Merkel (Germany)
Bill Gates (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)
Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud (Saudi Arabia)
Pope Benedict XVI (Roman Catholic Church)
Ben Bernanke (Chairman of the US Fed)
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
David Cameron (UK)