A year ago, with the markets and the economy in meltdown, the SmartMoney Power 30 was full of the usual cast of government giants and Wall Street heavyweights: Bernanke, Geithner, Buffett. But as we move to a new phase, a time of slow but seemingly steady recovery, some of the biggest players might seem more on the fringe—academics, advisers, even a lobbyist. What follows is a mix of the famous and not-so-famous, all trying to make sure in their own way that the Great Recession turns into the Great Recovery. Lloyd Blankfein CEO, Goldman Sachs It was one thing to take a big investment from Warren Buffett in the heat of the financial meltdown, but Uncle Sam? Better to keep him at a distance. That’s the not-so-subtle message from Goldman (GS: 185.57*, +0.07, +0.03%), which has emerged as one of Wall Street’s strongest survivors of the financial crisis. Blankfein, a 55-year-old former tax lawyer, was the first banking executive to repay government loans made during the crisis-$10 billion in Goldman’s case. While that freed the firm from strict oversight on its business, expect it to continue to take heat for its generous pay practices.