New Rulers of Britannia

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Britain's first coalition government since World War II is the best solution under the circumstances [May 24]. Better than an absolute majority for the Conservatives, the coalition with the Liberal Democrats offers the most likely scenario to resolve Britain's unprecedented financial, societal and institutional problems. The combined appeal of both parties is significant. New Prime Minister David Cameron's philosophical commitment to an almost Kennedyesque mantra emphasizing individual and collective responsibility over entitlement augurs well for what must be a public acceptance of drastic belt-tightening measures to repair Britain's public finances. A stronger and healthier Britain at home is also more likely to be more assertive on the international stage, both within Europe and among the G-20.
Karl Pagac, VILLENEUVE-LOUBET, FRANCE

Layin' Down the Law On the Street
Re "The New Sheriffs of Wall Street" [May 24]: Certainly, a sample of three is not large enough to project what our financial system would be like if it were run by women for the next 40 years. However, given our experience over the past 40 years — and what the three "sheriffs" have started to do to clean up the mess created by our testosterone-laden captains of finance — I sure hope more women get a chance to exercise their unique brand of leadership.
John Ineson, NEW PALTZ, N.Y., U.S.

Of course women are called in to clean up messes. Hasn't that always been the case? What's surprising is that it continues to take so long for women to be appointed or elected to key positions of leadership. Now imagine what might become of war, poverty and hunger if women ran the world.
Phoebe Toland, HELENA, MONT., U.S.

You describe Washington as getting "down to the hard work of putting laws into place that are designed to prevent another crisis." Congress and the White House have spent the past 25 years slowly dismantling similar — if not the same — laws, put into place during the 1930s for the same purposes. Very original spin control!
Joseph Couture, IPSWICH, MASS., U.S.

My career in consulting for corporations about "system thinking" — the ability to see a situation in terms of what is good for the greater whole vs. what is good for an individual — showed me that women get this notion much more easily than men do. It is refreshing to see the possibility of women's playing major roles in our struggling financial system.
Tom Lane, COLUMBUS, IND., U.S.

As a student entering college in the fall, I hope to alter the statistic of the slim 3% of FORTUNE 500 companies that have a woman as CEO. Even in the year 2010, it is wonderful to see women like Schapiro, Warren and Bair challenging the status quo and paving the way for the next generation.
Becky Williams, ABINGDON, MD., U.S.

You Never Can Tell
Re "Now Playing for Center Court," TIME's profile of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan [May 24]: To quote a dreadful but historically minded movie, Supreme Court Justices turn out to be "like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." The most famous recent example is retired Justice David Souter, who turned out to be not nearly as conservative as his original backers had hoped. Liberals, likewise, should check their enthusiasm about Kagan's nomination until she is seated, and maybe for longer than that. As Harvard Law dean, Kagan was willing to curtail the speech rights of the military by barring it from recruiting at Harvard — until it threatened to cost the university millions of dollars in federal aid; she also appointed conservative scholars "over strenuous liberal objections." These facts should give liberals looking for a champion for their cause on the court ... pause.
Gregory Knapp, CHICAGO