Why are there so many rogue traders in France?

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Is it coincidence that two out of the four major rogue trading incidents of the past year have occurred at French banks?

First there was SocGen's €4.9bn hit following an alleged €50bn of futures positions run up by Jérôme Kerviel. And then last week, Caisse d'Epargne suffered a €600m (466.6m) loss on unauthorised equity derivatives trading.

Caisse D'Epargne has been quick to evict its chief exec, chairman and head of finance after six of its equity derivatives prop traders exceeded their risk limits and wrongly bet that stock markets would rise.

Apparently sensing a possible systemic problem, finance minister Christine Lagarde has ordered an emergency audit of all French banks to ensure the same thing doesn't happen again.

Is she right to be worried? SocGen certainly stands accused of weak procedures, poor implementation and bad management, but are French banks any more susceptible to rogue traders than others?

Or are two French rogues in a row just bad luck?

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