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Hero: Nouriel Roubini
Economics professor, New York University

For the next 12 months I would stay away from risky assets. ... I wish I could be more cheerful, but I was right a year ago, and I think I'll be right this year, too." -- Fortune, Dec. 10, 2008

Roubini is on this list for one reason, and it's a big one: He was one of the first people to warn about the impending financial crisis.

Back in 2006, his public predictions that a real estate bust along with a surge in oil prices and a shopped-out consumer would lead to a recession by 2007 were met with deep skepticism. As we know all too well, much of his dire forecast came to pass in 2008.

He's not too rosy about the future, calling for the most severe and protracted economic downturn since World War II. But we can all take comfort that Roubini is forecasting the economy to begin recovery by the end of next year, and for GDP growth to turn positive in 2010. --D.R.

NEXT: Hero: Majora Carter
Last updated December 12 2008: 6:01 AM ET
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