4 Most Important People in Business

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The past two decades have been riotous for America’s private sector. The country’s largest and oldest corporations have enjoyed booms and suffered busts, championed the development of the Internet and information economy, and weathered the pressures of globalization. Moreover, major shifts in policy have redefined the entire landscape within which businesses must operate, creating tailwinds for some and headwinds for others.

Through it all, the United States has managed to maintain its position at the leading edge of business. This is thanks largely to the efforts and genius of people like Bill Gates, who founded Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Steve Jobs, who founded Apple (NADSAQ:AAPL). On the policy front, there have been few people more influential than the chairs of the Federal Reserve — first Alan Greenspan, and then Ben Bernanke — who, for better or worse, together guided American monetary policy for the twenty-six years that ended in January.

These leaders have exemplified what American business is all about by being both forward thinking innovators and business leaders as well as policymakers, reacting as well as they could to a complex and rapidly evolving financial and economic landscape. Here’s a closer look.

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