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Buying Stocks Now Is Betting On Buybacks

It is no secret that a large portion of the rally in equities over the last few years, and especially the rebound from the lows of early February, has been bolstered by the record amounts of capital sitting in the coffers of American corporations which, has naturally found its way […]

The Great Momentum Crash

All good things might not come to an end, but they certainly attract attention and ultimately create the potential for excess, as witnessed in the stock-market crash of the past few weeks. Nowhere in the investment world has this been more visible than in the quantitative investment strategy known as […]

Default, Devaluation Or Debt Deflation — Time To Exit Longer Maturity Treasuries?

I have to admit that the accelerating fall of the unloved U.S. dollar along with recent pronouncements from the administration have taken away any remaining support from even the most die hard of dollar bulls such as yours truly. On the one hand, very large positive carry is embedded in […]

The Hidden Fountain Of Youth Driving The Markets

As we reach the end of 2017, it is impossible not to reflect back on the fantastic rally in risk markets. Yet again, risk markets defied expert opinions and delivered to investors a massive gift of capital appreciation. If there has been one mantra that has worked this year, it […]

Sell Duration To Hedge Equities

Yes, you read that right. The risk asset market today is one very highly levered yield trade. Whether you look at FAANGs, Nasdaq, EM equities, High Yield, short volatility strategies or even long Treasury bonds, the juice that keeps asset price appreciation going is the low level of yields. Common […]

Here Comes the Melt Up! Spot Up, Vol Up

Option traders implicitly believe that when the stock market goes up, volatility falls, and when the stock marketfalls, volatility rises. This assumption, which is based on years of empirical data, is implicit in many of the volatility-based strategies that have become common place today. To mention a few: volatility targeting, […]

Is The ‘Shadow Insurance’ Business As Dangerous As The ‘Shadow Bank’ Of The Financial Crisis?

There are a number of striking similarities between financial markets before the 2008 financial crisis and today. The most obvious is the low level of volatility. While everyone’s favorite indicator of risk taking is the VIX, other metrics of risk and uncertainty are even lower today than they were in […]

Watch Out For Volatility Tourism And The End Of The Summer Calm

Summer will soon be coming to an end, and in the beautiful beach town of Laguna Beach summer tourism is reaching its crescendo like it does every year. This year, however, with booming equity markets, a general feeling of well-being, and little in the form of risk of wars and […]

The Perils Of Selling Volatility When Volatility Is So Low

Once the piece I wrote yesterday went online (“Why Is Volatility So Low and What Should We Do Now?”), I received a number of questions on why now is the time to quit selling volatility and be careful. Couldn’t we have said the same thing a few months, or maybe […]

Why Is Volatility So Low And What Should We Do Now?

Last week the VIX closed at one of its lowest levels in recent history. Why? And what can we do about it? In my view, there are a number of inter-related reasons why option prices and option implied volatility are so low, and they might suggest some ideas for portfolio […]