The 100 Least Powerful People In The World

Berlusconi shrugs

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.

100. Yelena Borisovna Skrynnik, Minister of Agriculture of Russia

The country recently halted all wheat exports after crop destroyed by drought. A raging forest fire burned down timberland, crops, and homes.

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99. Rahm Emmanuel, Former White House Chief of Staff; Mayor-elect of Chicago

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.

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98. Masataka Shimizu, CEO of Tokyo Electric Power

Irradiated plant owned by company was scheduled for retirement years ago. Shimizu disregarded warnings and kept it live.

He hasn't made a public appearance in almost three weeks.

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97. Brian J. Dunn, CEO of Best Buy

He took the premier consumer electronics retailer and turned it into the whipping boy of Wall Street.

He allowed Amazon to take all of its business.

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96. Christopher Lee, Former Congressman

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.

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95: Larry King, Former Host of Larry King Live

94. José Francisco Blake Mora, Minister of the Interior of Mexico

He was picked by Mexican President to lead the war on drug cartels. Since then, drug lords have seized the entire northwest part of the country.

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93. Stanley McChrystal, Former Four-Star General

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.

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92. Christine O'Donnell, Politician

The Palin wannabe crashed and burned in the national spotlight after her third attempt to get the Delaware Senate seat in five years failed.

She will forever be known as the Tea Party witch.

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91. Mike Zbuchalski, Group Vice President of Research & Development at Frito-Lay

He oversaw the introduction of the loud and unpopular biodegradable SunChips bag.

Frito-Lay received so many customer complaints about the noise that they pulled the bags from shelves.

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90. Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General

The Postal Service suffered a $329 million loss in the first quarter.

They are currently considering the elimination of Saturday mail delivery and layoffs into the thousands.

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89. Graham Lintott, Vice-Marshal of the New Zealand Air Force

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.

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88. Moshe Katsav, Former President of Israel

He was found guilty of sexual assault of two former employees and sentenced to seven years in prison.

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Dr. Laura, as her radio fans call her, used a racial slur multiple times in a single call and had her nationally syndicated show canceled.

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86. Yiannis Ragousis, Greek Minister for the Interior

He was supposed to preserve cultural unity in Greece. The country's austerity measures resulted in violent riots among the citizenry.

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85. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russian Oligarch

Formerly #16 on the Forbes World's Billionaires list, he is now serving a nine year sentence in prison for fraud and tax evasion.

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84. Andrew Lees, Head of Windows Mobile 7

He runs the least successful mobile operating system.

His recent partnership with the faltering Nokia his greatest deal to date.

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83. Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google

The former CEO of Google was demoted to Chairman by billionaire co-founders who want to take a more active role.

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82. Terry Gou, CEO of FoxConn

FoxConn is the leading parts supplier for the most popular consumer product -- the iPhone.

Coverage of suicides at plants has driven customers away.

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81. Kathleen Parker, Journalist

She went from being a Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist from the Washington Post to set prop for the former Governor with a questionable past.

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80. Sari Horwitz, Washington Post Writer/Pulitzer Prize Winner

Pulitzer-Prize winning Washington Post reporter was caught after committing multiple acts of plagiarism. The Post suspended Horwitz for three months.

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79. Sharif Ahmed, President of Somalia

He is the leader of a nation run by pirates.

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78. Kim Pyong-ryul, Chief Justice of North Korean Central Court

Job description is an oxymoron: he runs the justice wing of a nation that has no justice.

Kim Jong Il is president for life and will shortly be succeeded by his son.

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77. Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Ranking Catholic Bishop in China

He runs the operation of the world's largest religious organisation in the world's most populous nation, where, by the way, some religious practice is banned.

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76. Mary Bell, President of the Wisconsin Education Association Council

Unions thrashed on the national stage as the Governor's efforts resulted in rescinding collective bargaining rights.

No justice, no peace.

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75. Terry Jones, Pastor

74. Dov Charney, Founder and CEO of American Apparel

Has been too busy fighting sexual harassment lawsuits to properly run his company.

American Apparel stock dropped from $3.62 to a pathetic $0.66 this year.

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73. Ron Marshall, CEO of Borders

See Blockbuster.

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72. Robert Reding, Executive Vice President of Operations, American Airlines

He has earned his company the worst customer satisfaction score in an industry known for terrible customer satisfaction.

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71. Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy

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.

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70. Mike Lazaridis & Jim Balsillie, Co-CEOs of Research in Motion

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.

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69. Christina Aguilera, Actress, Singer

She forgot the words to the National Anthem.

She was arrested for public intoxication.

She tripped on stage at the Grammys after an Arethra Franklin tribute.

All in the last two months.

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68. Katie Couric, Journalist, TV News Personality

Queen of AM TV on Today Show, now sits at the bottom of network rankings at CBS Evening News.

She also agreed to a pay cut. She is now, reportedly headed for the exit.

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67. Zheng Guoguang, Director of the China Meteorological Administration

66. Larry Summers, Former President of Harvard University

The defrocked Harvard University President and ostracized Director of White House Economic Council returns to Harvard professorship and gains more weight.

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65. Kenneth Lewis, Former CEO of Bank of America

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.

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64. Jose Socrates, Former Prime Minister of Portugal

63. Trey Laird, Designer

Famed designer Laird spearheaded the worst redesign since New Coke.

He took the iconic Gap logo and replaced it with a new one that lasted… an entire week.

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62. Charlie Crist, Politician

He lost the Florida Governor's election to a Tea Partier.

He was the GOP darling in the run-up to elections. What happened?

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61. Ron Paul, Libertarian Politician

60. Jacob Lew, White House Budget Director

He supervised the creation of the new Obama budget.

He completely dismantled by Congress the next day.

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59. Dmitry Medvedev, President of Russia

Medvedev remains Prime Minister Putin's puppet.

Approval ratings for both are all at all-time lows, and the two were recently seen fighting in public.

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58. Brian Moynihan, President and CEO of Bank of America

The bank has done so poorly under his leadership that the government recently rejected his plea to reinstate dividends after granting it to all of B of A's peers.

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57. Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu

He is seeing the promising online video site fall apart under withering competition from NetFlix, Comcast, YouTube, and AppleTV.

So much for IPO plans.

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56. John Galliano, Fashion Designer

The creative director for the House of Dior has a flair for the absurd.

His drunken, anti-Semitic rant was simply tasteless.

He is now unemployed.

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55. Fred Wilpon, Co-Owner of the Mets

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.

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54. Wade Phillips, Former Head Coach of Dallas Cowboys

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.

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53. Mel Gibson, Actor

The former Star of Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, and Braveheart degenerated into bigotry and alcoholism.

Current co-star: a beaver puppet.

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52. John J. Doherty, NYC Sanitation Commissioner

He presided over epic screw-up clearing NY streets after worst blizzard in years. Pilloried by the press.

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51. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler

Chrysler lost money. He's no Lee Iacocca.

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50. Ben Roethlisberger, NFL Quarterback

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.

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49. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security

48. Jesse James, Television Personality

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.

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47. Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand

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.

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46. Herbert Kohler, Billionaire

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)

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45. Michael Steele, Former Chairman of the Republican National Committee

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.

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44. Jeff Zucker, Former CEO of NBC

The incompetent former chief of a huge entertainment group was finally fired…10 years too late.

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43. Dan Gilbert, Principal Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers

42. Vivian Schiller, Former NPR President

41. Meg Whitman, Former CEO of eBay

She spent $163 million of personal funds in failed race for California Governorship.

She lost to addled hippie Jerry Brown.

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40. Cilia Flores, Speaker of the National Assembly in Venezuela

She runs the legislative branch of the government of dictator Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan president for life.

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39. Rajat Gupta, Former McKinsey & Company CEO

He was a director of Goldman Sachs, P&G, American Airlines, and Harmin International.

He was charged with insider trading by the SEC and recently resigned all board memberships.

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38. Colleen Goggins, Johnson & Johnson head of consumer products

Recalls, including Tylenol and Benadryl, cost hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales.

No coincidence she decided to take early retirement.

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37. Philip J. Faraci, President of Eastman Kodak

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.

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36. Jon Meacham, Author, Former Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek

Pulitzer-Prize winning biographer and former editor in chief of Newsweek attempts to revive magazine.

His reinvention results in its sale for $1 to 90-year-old stereo magnate.

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35. Chris Brown, R&B Artist

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.

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34. Hosni Mubarak, Former President of Egypt

30-year Egyptian strong man leaves presidency with tail between his legs. May seek asylum in Libya.

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33. Guy Hands, Investor, Businessman

English businessman buys EMI Group. Later forced to hand it over to Citigroup after defaulting on all of his loans. His excuse? Citigroup made him pay too much.

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32. Eric Mangini, Former NFL Head Coach

31. Lindsay Lohan, Actress

Once a poor imitation of Paris Hilton, now a perfect imitation of Winona Ryder.

30. Eddie Lampert, Chairman of Sears

29. Kirk Ferentz, Head Football Coach at the University of Iowa

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.

28. Dayne Walling, Mayor of Flint, MI

City finances ruined, now ward of the State of Michigan. Nothing much left to manage.

27. Rick Sanchez, Talk Show Host

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.

26. Jon Rubinstein, Former CEO of Palm

Drives Palm into the ground. Booby prize is job at new parent, HP.

25. Jon Gosselin, Former Reality TV Star

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.

24. Sarah Palin, Politician

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.

23. Mark Papermaster, Former Head of Hardware Engineering at Apple

Left position in the wake of the iPhone antenna debacle.

22. Nicolas Cage, Actor

Former matinee idol now stars exclusively in movies involving witchcraft.

21. Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales

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.

20. Keith W. Rheault, Nevada Superintendent of Education

Head of education in a state with a graduation rate of 47.3%, the lowest in the country.

19. Robert Zemeckis, Director of Mars Needs mums

18. Brian Lenihan, Former Finance Minister of Ireland

If nothing else, Lenihan wins out in a crowded market.

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.

17. Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemeni President

On the way out after 32 years. See Mubarak.

16. Walter Scott Junior, CEO of level 3 communications, Board Member at Berkshire Hathaway

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.

15. Julie Taymor, Former Director of Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark

She was thrown out as director of the most expensive production in Broadway history.

Heavily in debt, the play has been delayed numerous times while actors continue to be injured on set.

14. Roger Clemens, Former MLB Pitcher

He is on trial for perjury and obstruction of Congress during steroid hearings.

He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Winner of the Pete Rose Award.

13. Mike Jones, MySpace CEO

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.

12. Levi Johnston, Former Fiance of Bristol Palin

Alaskan redneck fathered Bristol Palin's baby and then abandoned them.

Made up for his transgressions by appearing in Playgirl.

11. Nancy Pelosi, Senator, Former Senate Majority Leader

The former Speaker of the House whose effort to keep the Democrats in control faltered after the overwhelming Republican victory in the midterm elections.

10. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Former Mr. Universe, Former Governor of California, Aspiring Actor

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.

9. Brett Favre, Former NFL Quarterback

8. Raj Rajaratnam, Former CEO of Galleon Fund

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.

7. Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Former CEO of Nokia

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.

5. Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint

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.

4. Charlie Sheen, Actor

3. Jim Keyes, CEO of Blockbuster

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.

2. Keith Olbermann, Journalist, TV News Personality

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.

1. Tony Hayward, Former CEO of BP

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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