10 Most powerful people on Earth

Every year Forbes compiles a list of the most powerful people on earth, based on the amount of human and financial resources the have control over, as well as their influence on world events. Let's reveal the top 10 and more importantly find out what makes them so powerful. 10. First up at number 10 is David Cameron. Current prime minister of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is the the 6th wealthiest country on Earth, which is quite impressive when you considering it's relatively small size and population. But what really makes the United Kingdom and subsequently David Cameron so powerful, is its strong relationship with some of the most powerful and wealthiest nations on Earth, such as Iran, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and most of Europe. But of course the UK's closest ally is the United States of America. The two nations have a "Special Relationship", seriously that's actually what it's called. The two countries share intelligence, military and their economies. The UK is also one of the few countries that has active nuclear weapons, in the form of their fearsome nuclear trident programme. A chunk of David Cameron's power was almost lost in 2014 when Scotland came close to gaining independence in the Scottish Referendum, but voters narrowly kept Scotland as part of the UK. Retaining Cameron's number 10 spot. 9. At number 9 is a joint entry from the world of business. Both tied for 9th place are the founders of search engine giant, Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Their company Google, is unarguably the most influential company of the digital era. Maintaining the majority share in online search Google has the unbelievable power of being able to curate the internet. Google are also buying up big companies left, right and centre. In fact since 2001 Google has purchased companies at a rate of 1 per month. Most notably YouTube, DoubleClick, Nest and Makani Power. Google also owns the Android mobile operating system, more than a billion devices around the world run the software. They also have their highly secretive Google X research labs which is responsible for bringing future technologies to the present day, such as self driving cars, Google Glass and more recently their Calico programme, which is working on curing diseases such as cancer and alzheimer's and massively extending people's life spans. 8. At 8 is Mario Draghi. hilariously nicknamed Super Mario, he is the president of the European Central Bank. It's easy to see where all his power comes from when you consider that he is in charge of a company that manages the economies and financial unities across 18 different countries in Europe, which is the world's wealthiest continent. It's also worth noting that Mario was previously managing director of Goldman Sachs International. 7. At 7 is Microsoft founder Bill Gates. There's no arguing with his place on this list, since he is the wealthiest person in the world, worth an estimated $76 billion. But good old Bill Gates is using his power in the best possible way, since 2000 his charity, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given an astonishing $30 billion to charity. Making him the most generous philanthropist in history. He has also inspired hundreds of other wealthy individuals to donate their fortunes to charity. 6. At 6 is Janet Yellen. She is head of the Federal Reserve Bank, the central bank of the United States. Arguably the most influential bank in the world with $4.48 trillion in assets. She is the first female to hold the prestigious position. 5. Next up is Angela Merkel. She is Chancellor of Germany. Germany is an economic powerhouse and the 4th wealthiest country in the world. Being head of the German government also gives her tremendous power over the rest of Europe. Most recently she has been using her enormous power to fight back against ISIS and to deter Russia's threats against Ukraine. 4. At 4 is the spiritual leader to one-sixth of the world's population, that's 1.2 billion people, Pope Francis. Possibly the most open minded leader of the Roman Catholic Church to date, he shocked the world when he said that the theories of evolution and the big bang are true and he made history when stating "Who am I to judge?" when asked about his views on homosexuality. 3. At 3 is Xi Jinping, leader of the three major parties of China, the Communist Party of China, the People's Republic of China and China's Central Military Commission. He is informally referred to as China's "paramount leader". Essentially making him leader of the world's second wealthiest country, China. Some say he is the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. 2. At 2 is Barack Obama, officially the most famous person on this list. Obama is the 44th and current president of the United States, and the first African American to hold the position. The root of his power is quite simple, America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, with a GDP of $17.5 trillion, it also has the world's largest and most deadly military as well as ties to a handful of other powerful countries. Despite all his power he has been rapidly losing support amongst the American people during his second term in office because of a handful of events. But most notably Obama has increased the National Debt of the United States by almost 70 percent since he took office. But the United States remains the world's most influential nation, easily justifying Obama's place on this list. 1. And finally at number 1 is Vladimir Putin. Vladimir is the President of Russia, the largest country in the world by landmass. He has a remarkable grip on power, he became prime minister of Russia in 1999, switching between president and prime minister in the years since, eventually settling on president in 2012. Effectively making him leader of Russia for the past 16 years. But what makes Putin more powerful than Obama? Well, when Obama wants to make an important change he has to drag his feet through congress. Putin on the other hand can pretty much do whatever he wants, when he wants. He heavily exercised this enormous power throughout 2014, most notably by annexing Crimea, starting a proxy war in Ukraine and landing a $70 billion gas pipeline deal with China. Which keeps European energy in a frustrating chokehold. Basically when other leaders such as David Cameron and Barack Obama want to exercise their power they have to fight their way through hoards of political hurdles, Putin simply does what he pleases. And when he does decide to exercise that power, it's usually an enormously powerful and controversial act that makes headlines worldwide.

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