There are dozens of “best” lists put out by the media every year.
These stories have catchy titles like the most admired companies, the largest companies, the wealthiest billionaires, the most well-liked billionaires, the most powerful women, the most powerful people under 40 and the most powerful women under 40.
The “24/7 Wall St. 100 Least Powerful People In The World List” is one of a kind. It is the most important list you will ever read.
Click here to see the 100 least powerful people in the world >
This article could be called “The Emperor Has No Clothes.” The people on this list used to be powerful. They have powerless titles, or they never had power at all. Each person on the list is an impostor, even if he or she does not mean to be. The powerless can be well-intentioned. It may not be their fault that they have been rendered impotent. Conversely, many of the people who make the list deserve far worse fates than being on the list.
A 24/7 Wall St. analysis identified five major groups that are powerless: (1) corporate executives, (2) sports figures, (3) politicians, (4) royalty, and (5) celebrities.
This list is necessary, much more so than many of the “best” lists. Too many people represent themselves and their institutions as the “best” when they are flawed, useless or irrelevant. It is often harder to find the least powerful than it is the most powerful. The best speak up for themselves. Those who pretend to have power often try to hide the fact they lack it.
Click here to see the 100 least powerful people in the world >
This post originally appeared at 24/7 Wall St.
Formerly one of the most powerful people in the world as White House Chief of Staff.
He is now mayor of Chicago, a town which has lost so many residents that its population is now lower than it was in 1920.
The former New York Congressman and married father sent shirtless photos of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist, claiming he was divorced.
He used a fake name nearly identical to his own. He was ID'd, outed and has since resigned.
The former four star general and commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan was brought down by a Rolling Stone article in which his subordinates savage Joe Biden and Nation Security Advisor James Jones.
At least he bothered to apologise.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force is comically small, featuring only a few helicopters and transport planes. Any single American fighter pilot has more fire power under his command.
The second longest-serving prime minister in the history of the country.
He was charged with mafia collusion, tax fraud, false accounting, corruption and bribery of police officers.
He is currently the subject of a sex scandal investigation involving underage girls.
Because they share the title, both should be blamed for letting Apple and Google eat RIM's lunch.
RIM was positioned to dominate the smartphone market, but was caught flatfooted by the iPhone's release.
Playbook, its answer to the iPad, still hasn't been released.
He built the Bank of America into a top financial institution. The credit crisis turned him into a pariah.
Shareholders lost 80% of stock value and taxpayers had to provide $45 billion in cash to keep the financial firm afloat.
The Mets lost nearly $50 million in 2010, the worst decline among all baseball teams in recent years.
Apparently, Wilpon used Madoff's fund as part of the ball club's investment strategy and is now being sued for $1 billion by the trustee for the victims of the Ponzi scheme. This year, the team is on pace to lose another $50 million.
Highest-paid team was considered a Super Bowl front-runner at the start of the year. Phillips was fired after a 1-7 start to the season.
Recently hired by Houston Texans to be Defensive Coordinator, taking over a defence that ranked in the bottom 4 in the NFL.
He had several run-ins with law enforcement, including a DUI and an accusation of sexual assault which resulted in a four game suspension.
After his return, a terrible performance lost him the Super Bowl.
Former host of Monster Garage was married to America's sweetheart Sandra Bullock.
He butchered his chances at Hollywood royalty when he got caught stepping out on his wife… right after she received her Academy Award.
Currently 83 years of age, Adulyadej is the world's longest-serving monarch.
The King can arrest people for mocking his authority, but as far as we can tell, he has no other power whatsoever.
Come and get us.
In 2010, this owner of a private plumbing company managed to flush roughly $1 billion -- 33% of his wealth -- down the toilet.
This is the biggest loss among billionaires who weren't arrested this year. (see Raj Rajaratnam)
The defrocked head of the Republican National Committee oversaw a complete loss of government to the Democrats; then watched as the GOP was shanghaied by Tea Partiers.
He was forced to drop his bid for reelection.
Once Kodak was one of the most powerful technology companies in the world. Now, it only receives press coverage over patent disputes with Apple and RIM.
Possible ruling in Kodak's favour rockets the stock. Does not bode well for company's prospects when this counts as really good news.
Was a top selling R&B performer. Spent the last two years rehabilitating his career after beating up his star girlfriend, Rhianna.
May have scuttled any chances of a comeback after Good Morning America tantrum. Publicist and singer split following the incident.
13 Hawkeyes were hospitalized with a rare and possibly fatal muscle disorder, Rhabdomyolysis, after extensive off-season workouts.
Ferentz has given no explanation for the illnesses though many believe Ferentz IS the explanation.
City finances ruined, now ward of the State of Michigan. Nothing much left to manage.
Popular CNN talk show host's casual approach gained him a loyal following.
He may have felt too relaxed when he implied on air that his network was run by Jewish people.
Drives Palm into the ground. Booby prize is job at new parent, HP.
Co-star of hit cable TV reality show and father of eight became late-night punchline after hard-partying antics alienated him from viewers and left him dumped by wife.
Now works as a construction worker.
Former presidential candidate repeatedly embarrassed by media, many blame her for John McCain's loss. Reality TV show a complete flop.
Democrats are praying she runs in 2012.
The 63-year-old prince may not be king for a while. The queen may live for another two decades.
He could lose a chance at the crown due to waning popularity and his son's pending nuptials.
Head of education in a state with a graduation rate of 47.3%, the lowest in the country.
Voted the worst finance minister in the eurozone by the Financial Times. This may have something to do with the fact that he took THE emerging European economy and drove it off a cliff.
He is a member of Warren Buffett's utterly symbolic Berkshire Hathaway board.
He is also the chairman of the notoriously poorly managed telecom company, Level 3 Communications.
He is the current CEO of the former #1 social network.
The site once had 70 million users. Now its lucky if it gets 100 Facebook likes.
Alaskan redneck fathered Bristol Palin's baby and then abandoned them.
Made up for his transgressions by appearing in Playgirl.
The former Speaker of the House whose effort to keep the Democrats in control faltered after the overwhelming Republican victory in the midterm elections.
Once the most powerful actors and politicians in California, this former Austrian bodybuilder is attempting to return to the silver screen after driving the state's finances into the ground.
The former high-powered hedge fund chief is now on trial for insider trading and could go to prison. He is taking the sterling reputation of McKinsey & Company and Goldman Sachs down with him.
He took the world's largest handset company from a 40% global market share to the whipping boy of Apple iPhone, Google Android, and even the RIM BlackBerry.
He was recently booted and replaced by a Microsoft executive.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Former Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means
A powerful and widely respected member of Congress of more than 40 years was forced to step down as chairman of Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight after alleged ethics violations.
He was later censured by the House Ethics Subcommittee after being found guilty of 11 of 12 charges.
He runs the number three cell phone company in a three company-market. Poor customer service has driven away many subscribers. AT&T's buyout of T-Mobile is the last nail in Sprint's coffin.
Blockbuster was once one of the nation's largest retailers, now on its way to liquidation.
The former star retail CEO of 7-Eleven didn't know enough about digital video to compete, according to Carl Icahn, the company's biggest shareholder.
He was #1-rated host on MSNBC. Indiscreet political donations got him the boot from the network.
He is now on Al Gore's Current TV, also known as Siberia.
He is the most notorious CEO since Enron's Ken Lay. Hayward was seen yachting a week after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
He did not admit the seriousness of the environmental calamity for several weeks. He was the board's sacrificial lamb.
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