11) Kenneth Lewis. For now, Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis remains in charge of the consumer-banking giant. After losing face following unexpected losses from the $21 billion emergency acquisition of Merrill Lynch, he's fighting to restore the bank's profitability--and his reputation.
12) Jamie Dimon. The J.P. Morgan Chase head is either the smartest guy on Wall Street, or just the luckiest. He got the deal of the century by picking up Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, deals which makes Morgan, by some measures, America's biggest bank. Now all he has to do is rebuild destroyed shareholder value at a time when a slow economy and tighter regulation could make banking a far less profit-friendly business.
13) Vikram Pandit. Citigroup's beleaguered CEO has a tough year ahead (if he manages to keep his job). The looming questions: What's to be done with a $306 billion portfolio of troubled mortgages and other assets? And will the bank weather mounting credit card losses and consumer defaults?
14) Jim Cramer. Love him or hate him, the former hedge-fund manager turned "Mad Money" host on CNBC still has a voice that out-booms all others when it comes to stock picking. Lately, his manic antics have included scathing attacks on asleep-at-the-switch regulators and tossing his hat into the ring for the job of chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
15) Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. The billionaire Saudi investor has had a rocky go since his firm, Kingdom Holding Co., went public on the Saudi stock exchange in 2007. A huge stake in Citigroup went south last year, sending Kingdom shares down 62 percent. Alwaleed's personal net worth slumped to an estimated $17 billion, down from $21 billion in 2007.
16) Eric Schmidt. The Google CEO is forging ahead despite a wavering stock price on the strength of a 60 percent-plus market share in Internet searches and the accompanying highly profitable ads. He's also behind new moves into coming battles in the browser and smart-phone wars.
17) Meredith Whitney. Oppenheimer's outspoken banking analyst has become the closest thing to a household name in the research world, thanks to gutsy but accurate forecasts of financial trauma. Her bearish calls made her one of the most prescient figures on Wall Street and influential enough to make blue-chips tank and CEOs tremble.
18) Steve Jobs. It's hard to think of any company more tied to the personality of its leader than Apple. It's not surprising, given Jobs' role as the architect behind runaway successes including the iPod, iTunes, and iPhone. A swooning share price amid rumors regarding his future at the company shows Wall Street still believes Apple's fate rests on the man who made Mac.
19) Austan Goolsbee. The young star from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business is the cheerful face of centrist, market-friendly policies in the Obama Administration. He's won over conservative critics including George Will despite his own criticisms of supply-side conservative policies. His role as chief economist for the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board will include helping to fix the financial crisis while keeping up the administrations' pro-market, pro-trade credibility.
20) Rupert Murdoch. He won the battle to buy the Wall Street Journal, and the billionaire News Corp. head continues to oversee a sprawling global empire of media properties. How he'll fare during one of the worst advertising markets in history remains to be seen.
21) Nouriel Roubini. They call him "Dr. Doom." The New York University economist has the right to wear the title as a badge of honor. After correctly predicting the severity of the housing and credit crisis, he's a continually popular source for the latest version of what could still go very wrong in the economy.
22) Maria Bartiromo. Anchor of CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo" and host and managing editor of the nationally syndicated "Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo," she's become the first face of financial news during one of the worst downturns in history.