The subprime meltdown that started to seep like acid through the economy last spring erupted into a full-blown global affliction in September and has dominated all discourse and commerce ever since. So it is no surprise that the worldwide financial crisis is top of mind as we present our 2009 list of the 100 Most Influential People in Finance. Treasury & Risk's pick of the first among equals (the rest are in no particular order) this year is:
SHEILA BAIR, CHAIRMAN, U.S. FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. (FDIC)
Bair was one of the first high-ranking government officials to sound the alarm about the subprime crisis, back in October of 2007. She has also been one of the most aggressive advocates for mortgage relief.
ED LIDDY, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP
With the U.S. government $170 billion in the hole over AIG, Liddy, the former CEO of Allstate, has had the Herculean task of salvaging the world's largest insurer.
MARSHALL BRIDGES, TREASURER AND VP, CORPORATE FINANCE, HNI CORP.
Bridges boosted the office furniture manufacturer's cash flow by negotiating extended terms with more than 10,000 suppliers to improve its days payable outstanding.
CONTROLLERS AND CAOS
JONATHAN CHADWICK, SVP, CORPORATE CONTROLLER AND PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING OFFICER, CISCO SYSTEMS
Chadwick, who was named controller after a five-year stint running Cisco's corporate finance and planning group, has transformed the role from an accounting function to a key player in business strategy just as the company, with $30 billion in cash, embarks on an acquisition program.
FELIPE DUTRA, CFO, ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV
Dutra managed to come up with financing for InBev's $52 billion purchase of Anheuser-Busch last year despite the credit market tightening.
LARRY BOYER, CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER, TREASURY, DUPONT
Boyer is at the leading edge of integrating treasury with information sources. He helped DuPont save an estimated $2.5 million by forging a direct connection to SWIFT, a project with 203% ROI. He also consolidated a dispersed treasury organization into just two trading centers.
U.S. SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MONT.), CHAIRMAN, SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
Baucus is driving the effort to reform U.S. healthcare. Since releasing a white paper on the topic last fall, he has worked closely with the Obama administration to produce a health reform package.