“Ashes to ashes , dust to dust”…The Book of Common Prayer
“Remember Caesar, thou art mortal” — William Shakespeare
The media creates and distributes hundreds of lists of the most powerful, the richest, and the most visible people in the world, along with the most important, highest paid, and best performing CEOs, most influential political figures and most famous celebrities. Recently those lists have included chronicles of top women executives, most promising executives under 40, and the wealthiest athletes.
Many companies and people on these most powerful and most respected lists don’t stay there for long. Toyota was on almost all the corporate best and most valuable brand lists. Just three years ago, Bank of America CEO, Ken Lewis, was one of the most admired financial executives in the world.
Many of the people who hold important titles and appear in the press regularly are not powerful at all. These people often have very little influence themselves. The organizations that they work for are often ineffectual as well. The world is filled with figureheads and frauds.
24/7 Wall St. looked across the worlds of celebrity, wealth, fame, corporate power, national and international politics, and religion to find a number of people who are much less important than they seem to be. This list is the result of the research about the large population of pretenders and the universe of people who hold the offices, run the companies, and walk the red carpets, but have little if any control over anything in particular.
To qualify for this 24/7 Wall St. list, a person had to be well known, at least in his or her own field or country, had to be under 100 years of age, and percieved to hold a position of power or influence well beyond the reality of his station.
Here is the 24/7 Wall St. 2010 list of the “100 Least Powerful People Under 100 Years Old”
|1||Dennis Dammerman, Chairman of Compensation Committee at AIG||He has no power since AIG executive compensation is set almost entirely by pay czar Ken Feinberg.|
|2||Hamoud Mohsen al-Yacoubi, Chief of the Iraqi Tourism Board||His job is futile since many of the people who have visited Iraq in the last five years have been killed, wounded, or are terrorists themselves.|
|3||Shinichi Sasaki, Toyota Overseer of Quality Control||What quality control? Recall of 8 million cars (plus the Prius) have destroyed Toyota’s hard-won reputation for quality, perhaps for decades. Blame should be laid at Sasaki’s feet.|
|4||George Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece||His authority will be completely wiped out as EU prepares to offer financing to rescue Greece and take de facto control of this ancient republic.|
|5||Drew Faust, President of Harvard||The first woman to become president of Harvard is left without capital needed to run university because her predecessor, Larry Summers, supported an endowment investment strategy that blew up as the market tanked.|
|6||Meg Ryan, Actress||Formerly America’s sweetheart and box office star. Heavy addiction to plastic surgery ruined her career.|
|7||Mel Karmazin, CEO of Sirius||May lose #1 attraction Howard Stern. Satellite radio in late-stage death throes due to rise of iPod and other consumer electronics devices.|
|8||Al Davis, Owner of the Oakland Raiders||Head of the most successful sports franchise in NFL history. But, team has now gone 29-83 since 2003.|
|9||Kim Pyong-ryul, President of the Central Court of North Korea||Job description is an oxymoron: 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.|
|10||Billy Tauzin, Former Chief PhRMA Lobbyist||Former congressman forced out of $2 million job after he aligned himself with the wrong side of the health care issue.|
|11||Ernesto Bertarelli, Swiss Former America’s Cup Title Holder||Swiss billionaire lost America’s cup to Oracle’s Larry Ellison’s wing-powered sailing vessel after long court fight over boat configuration.|
|12||Ed Whitacre, CEO of General Motors||Former telecom executive admits he knows very little about cars. Federal government controls company via 70% ownership.|
|13||Bertha Lewis, President of ACORN||Agency was poster child for federal housing assistance. ACORN lost federal funding after undercover sting operation revealed they were willing to help prostitutes avoid federal tax laws.|
|14||Charles F. Bolden, Head of NASA||Director of a program with a budget cut to the bone. The space agency lost its capital for returning to the moon and for building a new space shuttle program. Astronauts can always hitch a ride with Sir Richard Branson.|
|15||Mansur Muhtar, Finance Minister of Nigeria||The Urban legend of the digital age, who sends out over fifteen billion emails a year offering Nigerian oil riches in exchange for checking account and social security data. In reality, the Nigerian is so poor he doesn’t own a computer.|
|16||Stacy Deluke, Spokesperson for Xe Corporation||Spokesperson for Blackwater, AKA “Xe corporation,” which is under investigation for killing civilians in Iraq and other criminal acts. And what’s with the suspicious timing of the name change?|
|17||Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Ranking Catholic Bishop in China||Runs the operation of the world’s largest religious organization in the world’s most populous nation, where, by the way, religion is banned.|
|18||Carly Fiorina, Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard||Disgraced former head of Hewlett-Packard now running doomed campaign for U.S. senate seat in California. Recent smear campaign against opponent backfires virally.|
|19||Dmitry Medvedev, President of Russia||Acting puppet to Russian strongman, Vladimir Putin. Is head of Russian government in name only. Rarely speaks in public these days.|
|20||John Edwards, Former Presidential Candidate||Once had good shot at becoming president. Now has good shot of being most hated political figure of the past five years.|