Running up the greatest hits, brought to you by Google
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Running up the greatest hits, brought to you by Google

The technocrats who climb their way to the top of the greasy pole of international finance tend to be surrounded by sycophants who are unwilling to tell them just how insignificant they are.

Mark Piper

Enrique Iglesias

But now there's a new, truly democratic way of measuring a person's importance: internet search engine Google will estimate how many searches will be performed on any given name in a month.

European Central Bank president Wim Duisenberg, US Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers, Bank of England governor Eddie George, and UK chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown all get 600 hits a month, along with financier George Soros.

US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan easily beats them all, registering 3,100 impressions a month. However, international stalwarts such was World Bank president James Wolfensohn, IMF managing director Horst Köhler and IMF first deputy managing director Stanley Fischer get no hits at all.

Far and away the winner, however, is Inter-American Development Bank president Enrique Iglesias, who registers an astonishing 11,200 impressions a month. The fact that he shares his name with a famous pop star is probably neither here nor there.

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