Who's more powerful: the autocratic leader of a former superpower or the handcuffed commander-in-chief of the most dominant country in the world? This year, the votes for the World's Most Powerful went to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He climbs one spot ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama, who held the title in 2012.
Putin has solidified his control over Russia while Obama's lame duck period has seemingly set in earlier than usual for a two-term president—latest example: the government shutdown mess. Anyone watching this year's chess match over Syria and NSA leaks has a clear idea of the shifting individual power dynamics.
The Most Powerful People in the World list is an annual snapshot of the heads of state, financiers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs who truly rule the world. It represents the collective wisdom of top Forbes editors, who consider hundreds of nominees before ranking the planet's top 72 power-brokers–one for every 100 million people on Earth—based on their scope of influence and their financial resources relative to their peers. This year's list
features 17 heads of state who run nations with a combined GDP of some $48 trillion—including the three most powerful people, Putin, Obama and Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China. The 27 CEOs and chairs control over $3 trillion in annual revenues, and 12 are entrepreneurs, including new billionaires on the list, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote (No. 64), founder of Dangote Group, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison (No. 58). Speaking of, this year’s class has 28 billionaires valued in excess of $564 billion.
Here are Forbes' top 10 most powerful people of 2013.
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