Pope Francis most powerful in global finance, Modi ninth

New York (Matters India): Pope Francis has topped the list of the 100 most powerful people in global finance, prepared by a top American lifestyle magazine.

American President Barack Obama came second in the list that Worth Group magazine published on October 7.

While the bulk of the list is comprised of figures from the United States, other countries with a significant presence included China, Germany, England and India.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was ninth in the list, while Chinese President Xi Jinping was fourth.

Other Indians to make the list was Raghuram Rajan, governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He was listed 75th while Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairperson of the State Bank of India, was way down at 94. However, she was two notches above Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

An Indian American, Preetinder Singh “Preet” Bharara, who is the American attorney and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was named 48th in the list. Bharara’s office sends out agents to more than 25 countries to investigate suspects of arms, narcotics traffickers and terrorists and brings them to Manhattan to face charges.

Richard Bradley, Editor-in-Chief of the Worth Group that made the list, said Pope Francis emerged top because people of all religions listen to him as he speaks from the world’s biggest pulpit.

“He can reach an audience all over the world and he is using his pulpit to speak to economic issues like climate change, poverty, global capitalism and immigration,” said Bradley.

Worth is an American financial, wealth management and lifestyle magazine founded in 1992 and re-launched in 2009. It addresses financial, legal and lifestyle issues for high-net-worth individuals.

The magazine features stories about dynamic wealth creators and providing expert advice on investing and wealth management.

Each issue is organized into four sections: “Make” focuses on wealth creation and entrepreneurship; “Grow” centers on wealth management and investing; “Live” highlights philanthropy, lifestyle and passion investing; and “Creator” covers luxury products, services and experiences.

The magazine began assembling the annual list of The 100 Most Powerful People in Finance since 2010.

Bradley said assembling the Worth “Power 100″ is a year-long effort, with the magazine’s editors reviewing thousands of suggestions, selecting an initial list of 1,000 nominees and ultimately whittling it down to the final 100 names.

Bradley said Obama’s lame duck status in the coming year does not take away from his current powerful position.

“We can expect President Obama to drop next year, but right now he is presiding over what is probably the healthiest economy in the world,” said Bradley. “Like him or not, the history books are probably going to give him credit for that.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel comes in third on the list. Bradley said “if you don’t think she is powerful just ask the Greeks.”

In the emerging markets, China showed its ascendancy, placing a pair of its citizens in the top 10. Besides President Xi Jinping, Alibaba (BABA) founder Jack Ma was also in the list at the tenth slot.

“The Worth Power 100 provides a window into the world of finance and which direction it’s going,” Bradley said. “By and large, it’s going west towards California and east to Asia; New York is static and Europe is important particularly because of unresolved issues such as Greece.”

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