Finger-pointing only gets you so far. So does a federal bailout. The financial stabilization act will address some of the issues facing the world's financial players, but it neglects to address the most basic of issues: How can the industry avoid such failings again? It can start by installing strong leaders and demanding accountability from them and their boards. If this is to remain capitalism-without smacking of socialism-then problem-solving and trouble-shooting must occur before a crisis begins to roil markets, and without the entrenched aid of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.

The next generation of leaders will undoubtedly see many women at the helm of major financial institutions-something many women have said is long overdue. Without question, top-performing women are ready for the challenge. At the recent U.S. Banker-hosted gala honoring The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking, JPMorgan Chase's Heidi Miller, CEO of Treasury and Securities Services, observed that "these are difficult times, and we face extraordinary circumstances in our industry and in our nation."

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