New Yorkers who believe Mayor Michael Bloomberg wields too much authority will not be surprised by his high ranking on Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people.
Bloomberg placed 16th on the annual list that includes heads of state, CEOs and magnates, one spot behind Warren Buffet and one ahead of Walmart CEO Michael Duke.
President Barack Obama unanimously topped the rankings for the second consecutive year, followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Bill Gates. Pope Benedict XVI, who recently joined Twitter, rounded out the top five.
Seventy-one people from 24 countries made their way onto the Power list.
The list was compiled based on four standards: whether the candidate has power over lots of people, how much money is controlled by the person, if the person is powerful in more than one area and whether they actively used their power.
Forbes said Bloomberg, who was 17th on the list last year, projects his influence in myriad ways.
“New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has power because he’s a politician, because he’s a billionaire, because he’s a media magnate and because he’s a major philanthropist,” Forbes wrote.
The magazine also pointed to his push to ban sugary drinks over 16 ounces as a highlight of the past year.
Bloomberg, who is about to enter his final year in office, will continue to wield power even after his days at City Hall are over. Independence USA PAC, a Super PAC created by Bloomberg to back candidates around the country who share his views, spent nearly $10 million on elections this fall and will continue to support office-seekers who share Bloomberg’s ideals, including gun control, the environment and education.
Other well-known names on the list include Mark Zuckerberg (#25), Rupert Murdoch (#26) and Bill Clinton (#50), though his wife and Secretary of State Hillary, who Bloomberg reportedly called to gauge her interest in the mayorship, was left off.