The Global 100: Thought Leaders

The most influential thinkers in finance? Here's our picks.


United States
Paul Krugman
Professor, International Trade and International Economics, Princeton University

Krugman's observations from his twice-weekly perch on the op-ed page of the New York Times have established him as a leading economic and political gadfly — though the Princeton professor and co-founder of "new trade theory" would ridicule any suggestion that his economic analyses are politically biased. Winner of the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal in economics and regarded as a possible Nobel prize winner by his peers, Krugman is an acknowledged authority on international trade and international finance. George W. Bush's tax cuts and economic policies have been Krugman's favorite targets of late, but he has never shied from puncturing the economic pretensions of politicians on either side of the aisle.

United States
Joseph Stiglitz
Professor of Economics, Columbia University

Joseph Stiglitz, 59, has outspoken views on everything from the imposition of steel tariffs to the inequities between developed and developing nations. He has riled corporations and governments alike — and gained much press coverage in the process. This winner of the 2001 Nobel prize for economics, who made headlines last summer by jumping from Stanford to Columbia University, is used to making waves. For example, the former chief economist of the World Bank has been a very vocal critic of its sister organization, the IMF, which he believes often fosters economic turmoil instead of economic stability. Going forward, Stiglitz will undoubtedly continue in his role as resident global critic, and use his status to rage against injustices done by the haves against the have-nots.

United States
The Wall Street Journal

CNN may have more breadth, and The Economist (CFO's parent company) may have more edge, but for depth of business reporting worldwide, nothing beats the Wall Street Journal. It's rare among U.S. papers for its growing overseas news staff, currently numbering 300. It breaks far more than its share of major business stories, including the scoop on Enron's special-purpose entities, then follows up in detail. If American enterprise has a voice in the world forum, it's the Journal's editorial page, relentlessly free-trade and capable of both reason and rage. (Just ask Bill Clinton.) And despite inroads by other dailies, the Journal remains the de facto paper of record for Corporate America.

United States
Paul Volcker
Former Chairman, Federal Reserve

Finally, who else could Andersen have called? The 75-year-old former Fed chairman has a track record that transcends categories, and a reputation that remains untarnished despite the messes he's plunged into. After beating back inflation in the 1980s and negotiating bank reparations to Holocaust survivors in the 1990s, Volcker has of late devoted himself to promoting world harmony through the International Accounting Standards Committee and its restructured successor, the IASB. In his spare time, he's part of the G-8 "shadow group" that feeds agendas to the world's most powerful nations. That his tough reform agenda stalled at Andersen has hardly tainted his record — indeed, his ability to inspire hope in the face of catastrophe may have only burnished his gold stars.


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