They might not be the richest people in the world, but these billionaires have marvelous dominion in the world's markets. With political connections, the size and scope of businesses and investments, media coverage, charitable pursuits and net worth, they have become the most powerful billionaires on our planet.
Started third term as New York City's chief executive this January, he spent more than $100 million on re-election campaign. Now he owns 88% of company after buying cash-strapped Merrill Lynch's 20% stake in summer 2008
He owns large stakes in three television networks, controls three others through state and magazines, newspapers, advertising agencies. Besides that, his AC Milan is one of the world's premier soccer teams.
He controls world's second-largest independent oil company that produces more than 2% of global oil supply. Lukoil is Russia's largest taxpayer.
Carlos Slim Helu
His fortune is equivalent to 2% of Mexican GDP. This January, he pledged $65 million to research in genetic disease. He also is head of group who dedicated to improving Mexico's roads, energy infrastructure, and water supply.
Follows footsteps of Father Rafic Hariri, he is two-time prime minister and industrialist assassinated in 2005 bombing. Saad also runs construction, telecom and real estate conglomerate Saudi Oger.
He bought Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad for $40 billion and ploughed $1.3 billion into beleaguered Swiss Re in January.
He is the richest person in India with estimated net worth: $33 billion. His company stock up 90% since last January.
Li Ka-shing is the Asia's richest person. He also is Hong Kong electricity supplier, real estate developer, world's largest operator of container terminals and health & beauty retailers.
Edward and Abigail Johnson
Father and daughter run Fidelity Investments, America's largest mutual fund company: $1.3 trillion under management; $3.2 trillion under administration - equal to about 22% of U.S. 2008 GDP.
Despite losing $18 billion, Gates recaptured the crown as world's richest man in early 2009. Microsoft shares have rallied 60% in one year; new Windows 7 aiming to fix Vista disappointment. Net worth: $50 billion as of August 2009.
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