Unpopular at home and nearly invisible on the world stage, Gordon Brown endured a tough ride during his first year in power. But the global financial crisis has transformed the British prime minister, who now finds himself in the unlikely position of international superstar. As Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, and the US all emulate his recapitalization plan, Brown's once seemingly doomed premiership is looking up.
Praise has been pouring in: Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column on the day he won the Nobel Prize, called Brown the world's savior. But if the crisis has played to his strengths—for 10 years he served as Tony Blair's chancellor, the equivalent of treasury secretary—the famously dour PM is trying not to gloat. Asked by one journalist if he should now be called "Flash Gordon," Brown blushed and said, "No, just Gordon."