Forbes introduces the 2012 list of the world's most powerful people by declaring "There are nearly 7.1 billion people on the planet. These are the 71 that matter the most." President Barack Obama retains the top slot as the world's most powerful person.
Taking second slot in the high-powered stakes Forbes list, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ascended to the runner up position, closely followed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fourth position Bill Gates is deemed more powerful than the Pope (5).
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David Cameron, British Prime Minister
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
Taking sixth place is US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, with Saudi King Abdullah hot on his heels (7). The Saudi monarch recently achieved the number one position on the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center (RISSC) list of 500 most influential Muslim personalities.
Claiming the last three positions in the top ten are European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, China's Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping, and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The complete list of the world's most powerful people also includes Ali Hoseini-Khomenei, Iran's Grand Ayatollah (21); Rupert Murdoch (26); IMF chief Christine Lagarde (38); North Korea's President Kim Jong-un (44); and Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera (63).