‘Putin Is World’s Most Powerful Man’ – Forbes

Vladimir Putin was the world’s most powerful person for a fourth straight year in 2016, with US president-elect Donald Trump in second place, Forbes magazine said Wednesday in its annual rankings.

“Russia’s president has exerted his country’s influence in nearly every corner of the globe,” the US business magazine wrote.

Putin Russia
Putin Russia

“From the motherland to Syria to the US presidential elections, Putin continues to get what he wants.”

The 64-year old Russian leader is “unconstrained by conventional global norms (and) his reach has magnified in recent years,” Forbes said.

The magazine wrote that at number two, Trump, who takes over the US presidency in a little more than a month, “has a seeming immunity to scandal, both houses of Congress on his side, and a personal net worth in the billions.”

Trump, who was elected US president last month, was listed 72nd in Forbes’ 2015 power rankings.

Third place this year went to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been at the helm of Europe’s economic powerhouse for 11 years and announced plans to run for reelection next year.

Barack Obama, who placed second in 2015, plummeted to 48th place this year as he waits out the final weeks of his presidency, with his Democratic Party ousted from the White House after Trump’s shock election win and out of power in Congress.

Fourth place went to China’s President Xi Jinping, while the fifth spot on the list went to Pope Francis.

Forbes said it assesses the influence of “hundreds of candidates from various walks of life all around the globe” as it compiles its annual list, which this year has on it 74 powerful movers and shakers.

Is Donald Trump the next Most Powerful Man in the World?

On 9th November, the entire planet was rocked by the revelation that the American people had elected property tycoon and TV show presenter, Donald Trump to the post of President of United States following the most vitriolic presidential campaign in history. Bringing to an end eight years of Democratic rule after defeating heavily favoured rival, Hilary Clinton, Trump delivered a relatively subdued and statesmanlike acceptance speech, in which he promised to be “a President for all the Americans.”

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

However, the seventy-year-old’s victory marks the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a period of intense uncertainty regarding the US economy, and the inevitable impact this might have on economies around the world – particularly as one of Trump’s pledges while campaigning was to stamp out what he considers to be unfair trading practices by major exporters.

The manner in which the result was greeted in America was similar to that experienced by Britain following the unexpected referendum result which saw the majority of its population vote to leave Europe, although the UK saw none of the riots that have taken place across the States. In California, there was even serious consideration given by certain members of the high-tech Silicon Valley community to planning a secession of the Sunshine State from the US.

Given some of the pledges Trump made during the election campaign, it’s hardly surprising that reaction to the result ranged from mild trepidation to outright horror.

Here are some of the future president’s more outlandish pledges:

  • The pledge which really made people sit up and take notice was his promise to build a wall between Mexico and America – and have Mexico pay for it.
  • He has pledged to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.
  • He will appoint justices to the Supreme Courtto overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 court case which legalised abortion in the States. He also hinted that women who terminated their pregnancies illegally after the act was overturned would be punishable by law.
  • He will bomb ISIS. From a 2015 speech: “I would just bomb those suckers, and that’s right, I’d blow up the pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, I’d blow up every single inch, there would be nothing left. And you know what, you’ll get Exxon to come in there, and in two months, you ever see these guys? How good they are, the great oil companies, they’ll rebuild it brand new… And I’ll take the oil.”
  • He would approve the use of waterboarding – and beyond: “Don’t tell me it doesn’t work – torture works. Okay, folks? Believe me, it works. Okay?”
  • He will limit the immigration of Syrians into the States, stating that “We have no idea who these people are, we are the worst when it comes to paperwork. This could be one of the great Trojan horses.”
  • He will ban Muslims. In December 2015, Trump’s campaign issued the following statement: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Whether he follows through on these pledges now that he has been elected to office remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure – it’s going to be interesting…