5 of 16
BACK NEXT
5. The Regulator
William Poole
Former president, St. Louis Federal Reserve

He warned in 2002 that Fannie and Freddie didn't have the cash to weather a storm, and he's pessimistic about their future. "They can limp along because they are now explicitly backed by the government, but they should be wound down," he says.

He also believes the Fed's strategy of maintaining low interest rates to keep the economy humming will backfire: "To avoid a mild recession now, we're risking a much deeper recession later."

NEXT: The Politician
Last updated August 06 2008: 6:26 PM ET
Credit crunch isn't over Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney tells Fortune that housing woes will force banks to keep taking writedowns. (more)
CEO misery index It's not just the average Joe suffering as the U.S. economy heads south. These top U.S. executives are really feeling the heat too. (more)
The trials of Jimmy Cayne Last summer the ex-Bear Stearns CEO was worth $1.6 billion on paper. Then he nearly died and Bear collapsed. (more)