Vladimir Putin: Now More Powerful Than Rupert Murdoch, Google Guys

Vanity Fair’s annual list of the 100 most influential members of the New Establishment is out. And there have been some major shake-ups:

Vladimir Putin is now the powerful person in the world, even though he wasn’t on the list last year and doesn’t officially run Russia anymore.

Behind him, Rupert Murdoch got demoted to number 2, and the Google guys hold tight at number 3. Even Eric Schmidt is now cool enough to be on the list. He wasn’t included last year.

The credit crunch has also knocked many private-equity and banking titans down a peg, or several, according to Dealbook:

Who fell the furthest? Stephen Schwarzman and Peter Peterson of the Blackstone Group. Last year, they sat in the top five, riding off their buyout firm’s initial public offering. This year? They’re not on the list.

Mr. Schwarzman’s absence is conspicuous. Yes, his firm’s stock is down about 50 per cent since its debut last June, currently trading at $17.49. But Blackstone is still one of the world’s largest private equity firms and took part in the takeover of The Weather Channel two months ago. (Mr. Schwarzman’s name will also grace the New York Public Library’s stately Fifth Avenue main building, after he gave $100 million to jump-start an expansion campaign.)

Mr. Schwarzman’s archrival, Henry R. Kravis of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, may have placed far below his competitor last year, but at least he remained on this year’s rankings. Mr. Kravis placed 77th, down from 51…

Michael Moritz, the Sequoia Capital partner who helped give rise to Google and Yahoo, fell 32 spots to No. 88…Vinod Khosla, the clean-tech venture capitalist, dropped 32 places to 92nd. Bruce Wasserstein, he of Lazard and the holding company Wasserstein & Company, fell 19 spots to No. 62.

And Steven Cohen of SAC Capital suffered one of the worst falls from Vanity Fair’s graces, plunging 54 places to No. 99.

But Lloyd Blankfein (20), Jamie Dimon (21) and John Paulson (91) all made the cut for the first time this year. (Thanks, Bear Stearns.)

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