NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The five most infamous rogue traders in recent history all belong to foreign banks. Does that mean U.S. banks have better risk management or can such trading scandals happen here too?
So far, there does not seem to have been a major incident in the U.S in recent years. But banks are racing to update their surveillance measures, to meet regulations on risk management pushed through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
One Dodd Frank provision allows the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to police "manipulative and deceptive" conduct in the commodities futures and swaps market. Among other things, the rules demand stricter reporting requirements on trades.
It could be assumed that banks are playing regulator arbitrage, playing fast and loose with risk management overseas while being more conservative in the U.S. And if recent history is any indicator, that may be the case.On Tuesday UBS (UBS) said that it had discovered an estimated $2 billion loss from unauthorized trades by a 31-year old, Kweku Adoboli, a director of exchange-traded funds and "Delta 1", working in its London office. UBS said it might post a third-quarter loss as a result of the trades. Kweku Adoboli is the latest in a long line of "rogue" traders- those who make unauthorized, risky bets with other people's money and almost get away with it. Besides the prospect of huge losses, banks also are increasingly being held responsible for failing to adequately supervise their trading operations. Societe Generale, for instance, was ordered to pay a $5.5 million fine, for not adequately supervising rogue trader Jerome Kerviel, who cost the bank $6.7 billion in losses. Here is a list of the biggest rogue traders since the mid nineties.
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