The Return of the Rogue

This Article contends that of the many regulatory options available to the Basel Committee for addressing operational risk it arguably chose the worst: an enforced self-regulatory regime unlikely to substantially alter financial institutions’ ability to successfully manage operational risk. That regime also poses the danger of high costs, a false sense of security, and perverse incentives. Particularly with respect to the low-frequency, high-impact events—including rogue trading—that may be the greatest threat to bank stability and soundness, attempts at enforced self-regulation are unlikely to significantly reduce operational risk, because those financial institutions with the highest operational risk are the least likely to credibly assess that risk and set aside adequate capital under a regime of enforced self-regulation.