16. Warren Buffett
16. Warren Buffett
CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

This year the legendary investor created political buzz by arguing that plutocrats should pay higher taxes. The Obama administration, co-opting the idea, included a "Buffett Rule" in its budget proposal, under which people who make more than $1 million a year would pay at least the same percentage of their income as ­middle-class Americans. On the investing front, Buffett moved into tech, buying $10.7 billion in IBM shares -- 5.5% of the company. Despite an insider trading scandal involving a subordinate, Buffett maintained his larger-than-life role in business.


By Richard McGill Murphy, contributor @FortuneMagazine - Last updated November 17 2011: 5:58 PM ET
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