The NEWSWEEK 50: IMF Head Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Just a few months ago, the International Monetary Fund was a has-been institution, its advice bankrupt and its relatively puny reserves dwarfed by those of new emerging powers in Asia and the Gulf. Now the organization, headed by Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, may get a second life as the world's financial policeman. At this year's G20 meeting, nations desperate to guard against a repeat of the global credit crunch asked the IMF to take a greater role in monitoring financial stability around the world. New loans have been made to Pakistan, Iceland, Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine. Strauss-Kahn is now stumping for more funding from nations around the world—an effort that will likely require it to dump an old voting system that allowed the United States veto power over global financial matters. Preoccupied with its own bailouts, Washington may well agree.