Complacency At 5 Year Highs

Tyler Durden's picture

Short-term expectations of volatility, as measured by VIX, traded down close to a 13% handle this morning as the so-called 'fear' index dropped to practically its lowest level since July 2007. As we mentioned last week, complacency is back in more ways than just the level of VIX. Realized volatility, especially after last week's small range and low volume markets, has fallen but implied volatility is now at its most 'complacent' relative to realized vol since the end of LTRO - as it appears anticipation of the fully-expected printing-press euphoria is priced into both asset and vol markets. Furthermore, the term-structure of volatility, which measures short-term concerns relative to medium-term, has fallen at its fastest pace in 5 months (again confirming short-term complacency) and has only been this steep (short-term volatility dramatically low relative to medium-term volatility) once since the March 2009 rally began - right near the post-LTRO2 highs in the S&P.


VIX at 5 year lows...


and the term-structure of implied volatility has only been this steep (short-term complacent) once before since the March 2009 rally began - and that was the highs in March/April 2012...


and relative to historical vol, the S&P 500's implied vol is now its cheapest since the end of LTRO2 - as once again hopes of central bank extravaganzas are priced in...


Charts: Bloomberg

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mrktwtch2's picture

it may see a 12 print in the vix before bottoming out..if thenill keep averaging down in the tvix..

ebworthen's picture

Have they fooled everyone who was crushed by the 2008 debacle to buy equities again, or are they just playing with themselves?

Far as I can tell the propaganda and Bernanke's effort to force people back into equities hasn't worked and people are doing the unthinkable - cashing out or buying low yield bonds.

Hype Alert's picture

The market is so use to getting its fix that it doesn't even have to fall anymore to expect it. 

Awakened Sheeple's picture

"Look at them. Calm as Hindu cows."

malikai's picture

I guess it's time to go put shopping..

adr's picture

If the market hits all time highs, and nobody actually owns a stake in it, does it still make those people money?

I guess that is the ultimate Keynesian question.

Headbanger's picture

Did I just hear someone say 'Iceberg dead ahead!"

No, can't be..

govttrader's picture

Time for patience...the market is the gift that keeps on giving...thank you algos

Blopper's picture

Those following VIX will be greatly disappointed by the end of this year.

JustObserving's picture

Nothing to worry here - Ben will handle the problem of infinite debt with zero interest rates.  Heck, we may even have have negative interest rates.  All Ben has to do now is keep a lid on gold and silver.  With zero interest rates, the stock market will levitate - so no QE needed either.  Not to worry about the quadrillion in derivatives - Ben has that covered too.

What volatility do you expect in a controlled "market"?

slaughterer's picture

Large-block sells on the ES two times today so far.  

LoneStarHog's picture

Uh! ... How many reports have we read that virtually ALL TRADING is by HFT computers, and that CARBON-BASED traders are virtually nonexistent? ... So are we now to believe that HFTs are capable of silly things like FEAR vs. GREED? ... Gee, could the U.S. Goobermint also be controlling the VIX, like every other damn thing? ... I guess that this means when the markets crash you will NOT want to be walking below tall buildings due to the number of jumping computers.


Xanthias's picture

Govt control of the VIX?  Get out of town!  Next thing you'll be telling me Obama girl's a paid actress.

Temporalist's picture

Complacency?  I just bought Facebook!  I'm set for life!

hugovanderbubble's picture

Long TVIX¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡go Credit Suisse¡¡¡ 

RationalPrepper's picture

Trying to short using VXX has killed me the last few months.  I'm thinking about buying some more calls expiring towards the end of the year, just to hedge my mining and resource stock shares.  But I think my money might be best used to build liquidity insteady.  What do the rest of you ZH-ers think?


yogibear's picture

The war of the trading bots. Computer and algorithm  against Computer and algorithm. Until a trading house blows up. Each taking money from each other. There will be those that loose enormous amounts of money. Goldman always hires the top programmers and mathematicians.   

LongSoupLine's picture



Retail eaten by corruption and HFT = low VIX


HFT eating other HFT when no food is remaining = record low VIX

Dr. Engali's picture

Good little sheep ...go to sleep. When the vix hits 10 it's time for the slaughter.

Arnold Ziffel's picture
China's Largest Broker Plunges on Loss Rumor


Shares of Shanghai-listed Citic Securities, China's largest brokerage firm, fell by 9.1 percent on Monday after rumors the company had suffered a large 2.9 billion yuan ($460 million) loss on overseas trading.

pleseus's picture

More signs of a market top.

Crispy's picture

My eyes saw Maelstrom...