It was night of restrained optimism, understated New York glitz and a smattering of angst, but camaraderie trumped competition Monday night at U.S. Banker’s 6th annual gala toasting The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking, which drew 500 guests to The Plaza. Some of the industry’s heaviest hitters came out to see, be seen and informally compare notes as capitalism itself seems to ride on shifting shoals day by day.

JPMorgan’s Heidi Miller, CEO of Treasury and Securities Services, took advantage of a full house to underscore how important it is for women in the industry to create a unified front. “These are difficult times, and we face extraordinary circumstances in our industry and in our nation,” said Miller, who was ranked number one by U.S. Banker for the second year in a row. “No matter what the financial crisis, men—excuse me for those few of you brave enough to be here tonight—have historically landed on their feet. But given what we’re up against today as women, we’d be foolhardy if we didn’t think about how we should land on our feet. Now, more than ever, we have to help each other. We can’t go it alone; we need to network...No matter where we land, in order to land on our feet, we have to do it together.”

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