Clusterings of bank failures occur frequently, but do they reflect systemic risk? Without a theoretically coherent and empirically grounded conception of systemic risk, bank regulators run the risk of exacerbating it, as the banking history of the past century has demonstrated.

George G. Kaufman is the John F. Smith Professor of Finance and Economics at Loyola University Chicago.
Kenneth E. Scott is the Ralph M. Parsons Professor of Law and Business, Emeritus, at the Stanford Law School.
Banking and FinanceBanking Law and RegulationEconomic History and DevelopmentEconomyLaw and Liberty
Other Independent Review articles by George G. Kaufman
Summer 1997 Preventing Banking Crises in the Future: Lessons from Past Mistakes