Black Swan

Greece Votes: Syriza Wins But Neo-Nazis Top Among The Unemployed

Greece went to the polls on Sunday with a choice that really wasn't a choice and even as Alexis Tsipras looks set to prevail the most shocking electoral outcome is this: neo-Nazi Golden Dawn is set to come in third and garnered the most support of any party among Greece's unemployed.

Something's Askew In This Market

CBOE's SKEW index  - which measure traders' perceived risk of a major decline - in recent days has seen several readings in the 140?s, an extremely elevated level from a historical basis. The thing is, these readings are occurring amid circumstances unlike those during any other historical extreme reading – except for one.  10 of the 11 occurrences prior to 2015 could reasonably be considered non-contrarian warnings of at least sub-par returns to follow. You might say that these recent signs of extreme options distortion are themselves distorted.

"The World Is Running Low On Interventionist Ammo" SocGen Warns "China Is The Dominant Black Swan"

When it comes to crisis, SocGen notes that there is an abundance of case studies; and against the backdrop of the uncertainty shock delivered by China and the subsequent market tumult, market participants have been looking to the history books for clues as to what could happen next. While individual crises create their own risks, SocGen warns, the overriding risk  is that markets are taking less comfort today from the idea that central banks may step in with further QE-style liquidity injections to save the world.

How To Trade Quantitative Tightening, According To Deutsche Bank

Last week, the world was introduced to what Deutsche Bank has branded "quantitative tightening" or, in layman’s terms, "reverse QE." We - as well as Citi and SocGen - have endeavored to speculate on what hundreds of billions (if not trillions) in EM FX reserve liquidation may mean for UST yields, but if you’re looking for other ways to trade QT, Deutsche Bank has an idea.

Global Trade In Freefall: South Korea Exports Crash Most Since 2009

While the market's attention overnight was focused on China's crumbling manufacturing and service PMI, data which was already hinted in the flash PMI reports earlier in August, the real stunner came not from China but from South Korea, which last night reported an unprecedented 14.7% collapse in exports, far worse than the -5.9% consensus estimate, and more than 4 times worse than July's 3.4%. The number is critical because not only do exports account for about half of South Korea's GDP but because it also happens to be the first major exporting country to report monthly trade data. That makes it the perfect barometer of global trade flows, or as the case may be, the canary in the global trade coalmine. It also confirms what we reported just one week ago when we said that "Global Trade Is In Freefall."

Nassim Taleb's Fund Made $1 Billion On Monday; This Is How The Other "Hedge" Funds Did

You can't say Nassim Taleb didn't warn you: the outspoken academic-philosopher, best known for his prediction that six sigma "fat tail", or black swan, events happen much more frequently than they should statistically (perhaps a main reason why there is no longer a market but a centrally-planned cesspool of academic intervention) just had a black swan land smack in the middle of the Universa hedge fund founded by ardent Ron Paul supporter Mark Spitznagel, and affiliated with Nassim Taleb. The result: a $1 billion payday, translating into a 20% YTD return, in a week when the VIX exploded from the teens to over 50, and which most other hedge funds would love to forget.

Another Black Swan? Syriza Outcasts Form New Political Party, Will Push For Grexit

Members of Syriza's Left Coalition, led by Panagiotis Lafazanis who once plotted to storm the Greek mint, seize the country’s reserves, and arrest central bank governor Yannis Stournaras, have broken away and formed their own political party which they say will support Grexit and stand firm in the face of German "blackmail."

The 8 Trillion Black Swan: Is China's Shadow Banking System About To Collapse?

Between micromanaging the economy, equities, the yuan, and public opinion, there's no question that China has its hands full these days. But with everyone's attention now focused sqaurely on Beijing's plunge protection team and the PBoC's "controlled" yuan devaluation, the market may be ignoring the biggest risk of all...

One Trader Warns "Market Realities Were Starkly Exposed This Week"

Certain market realities were starkly exposed this week as a result of the China currency moves, Bloomberg’s Richard Breslow writes. As Keynes is supposed to have said, “When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, Sir?” Yet markets have been lulled into relying on the belief that this is no longer the case, and even if it is, any change will be stage managed for the comfort of institutional money managers. Gone are the days when you had to guess at the Fed’s policy by interpreting weekly money-market operations. But that can’t be done in any practical sense.

Fat Tails & The Invisible Vulnerability Of Markets

"...rising asset prices provide investors confirming evidence that their strategy is good and everything is fine. This induction problem lulls investors into a sense of confidence, and sets the stage for the shock when events turn down. That nonlinearity causes sudden change only adds to the confusion."

The Greatest Collapse In The History Of The VIX Index

The ongoing decline in the VIX starting last week (and still going) is the largest supernormal volatility collapse in VIX history. Over the past 2 years, we have been experiencing a quantifiable ‘outlier’ or ‘black swan’ decline in the VIX every 6 months as evaluated against history. We can only point to government intervention as the core reason. We firmly believe that this moral hazard produces a hidden leverage and “shadow market gamma” that at some point will result in a sustained volatility outlier event in the opposite direction.