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Richard Branson

Virgin Group founder and chairman Richard Branson is not American, but his track record as a successful businessman suggests that he may have worthwhile ideas about invigorating an economy. In an October interview on NPR, he discussed his positive experience with the partial privatization of a government-run entity.

"I used to travel on Britain's rail network, and the rail was run down, dilapidated, run by government; and we went in and persuaded them to give a chunk of it to us," he said. "And you know, we absolutely transformed it from 8 million passengers a year to, you know, 33 million passengers a year."

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images