Thailand's Tarrin Nimmanahaeminda

Last November, Thailand's Tarrin Nimmanahaeminda landed one of Asia's toughest jobs. After the return to power of his political mentor, Chuan Leekpai, the 52-year-old former banker took over as Finance Minister. He became the fifth man in a single year to hold the position, which had become a hot seat during Thailand's economic collapse. Indeed, the dithering of his predecessors raised doubts that Thailand could deal with the crisis.

Tarrin, a no-nonsense technocrat with a reputation for honesty, has made it clear that the dilly-dallying is over. He has closed dozens of bankrupt finance companies, overhauled the central bank, and sold off state industries. Tarrin has helped to reassure business that in Thailand, at least, the people in charge understand what they're doing.

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