'Forbes' list of the powerful shows it's not just world leaders who govern our lives
Everybody loves lists, and everybody wants to know who sits where in the global pecking order. But when it comes to the 'Forbes' list of the 73 most powerful people on the planet, you have to suspect that the compilers relied, at least partly, on guesswork.
You also have to wonder whether the same compilers were influenced by their opinions as to the prospects of powerful people in the next phase of their careers.
At the top of the new 'Forbes' list stand Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and Barack Obama. Russian president Mr Putin is probably the right choice for first place, and perhaps US president Mr Obama should have come second in view of the office he holds. But Mr Putin seems immortal, whereas Mr Obama is on the way out of office.