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50 People Who Matter 2010 | 24. Lloyd Blankfein

God's banker.

The Goldman Sachs chief executive became a hate figure in 2009 after declaring that he was "doing God's work".

Under his leadership, the seemingly indestructible bank profited from the 2008 crash. But this year Goldman was hit by a $1bn fraud case, brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which Blankfein claims was politically motivated.

He is on the front line in the push-and-pull between the financial sector and the government, especially as ex-Goldman staff populate the US treasury. His proximity to politics makes him the most powerful bank boss in the US.

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This article first appeared in the 27 September 2010 issue of the New Statesman, The 50 people who matter