For those curious why it is that the TVIX experienced a 50% plunge earlier today, as described here, perhaps the question should be directed to the SEC who may be better suited to answer just who, when and why had advance knowledge of Credit Suisse's announcement, after the close, that it would "reopen issuance of the TVIX." And since this is a rhetorical question, perhaps a better one is why does one participate in a market in which the fine print is always ignored, and is always used against the retail investor. Not that there is anything wrong with that of course - after all caveat emptor. Especially when none other than one of Ben Bernanke's favorite scholars on shadow banking (i.e., forced complexity) Gary Gorton said the following: "Liquidity requires symmetric information, which is easiest to achieve when everyone is ignorant. This determines the design of many securities..." Alas, when it comes to novel instruments such as levered ETFs that work as a closed end mutual fund hybrid, except when they don't, the only one ignorant is you, dear retail investor. Cost to your P&L: 50% in one day. Finally if for some inconceivable reason that doesn't work, just call the Credit Suisse ETN desk at 212 538 7333.
From Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse Plans to Reopen Issuance of VelocityShares Daily 2x Long VIX Short-Term ETN (Ticker Symbol: “TVIX”) on a Limited Basis
New York, March 22, 2012 Credit Suisse announced today that it plans to reopen issuance of the VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETNs (Ticker Symbol: “TVIX”) on a limited basis. The ETNs were temporarily suspended from further issuance by Credit Suisse on February 21, 2012 due to internal limits on the size of the ETNs. At present, the ETNs are trading at a premium to their indicative value.
Beginning March 23, 2012, Credit Suisse may from time to time issue the ETNs into inventory of its affiliates to make the ETNs available for lending at or about rates that prevailed prior to the temporary suspension of issuances of the ETNs. Also, beginning as soon as March 28, 2012, Credit Suisse may issue additional ETNs from time to time to be sold solely to authorized market makers. Credit Suisse may condition its acceptance of a market maker’s offer to purchase the ETNs on its agreeing to sell to Credit Suisse specified hedging instruments consistent with Credit Suisse’s hedging strategy, including but not limited to swaps. Any such hedging instruments will be executed on the basis of the indicative value of the ETNs at that time, will not reflect any premium or discount in the trading price of the ETNs over their indicative value and will be on terms acceptable to Credit Suisse, including the counterparty meeting Credit Suisse’s creditworthiness requirements, margin requirements, minimum size and duration requirements and such other terms as Credit Suisse deems appropriate in its sole discretion. This action does not affect the Early Redemption rights of noteholders as described in the pricing supplement. The other ETNs issued by Credit Suisse are not affected by this action.
As disclosed in the pricing supplement relating to the ETNs under the heading “Risk Factors—The Market Price of Your ETNs May Be Influenced By Many Unpredictable Factors,” the market value of the ETNs may be influenced by, among other things, the levels of supply and demand for the ETNs. It is possible that the reopening of the ETNs on a limited basis, as described above, may influence the market value of the ETNs. Credit Suisse cannot predict with certainty what impact, if any, the reopening described above will have on the public trading price of the ETNs. It is possible that the resumption of new issuances of the ETNs, even on a limited basis, could reduce or remove any premium in the trading price of the ETNs over their indicative value. Investors are cautioned that paying a premium purchase price over the indicative value of the ETNs could lead to significant losses in the event the investor sells such ETNs at a time when the premium is no longer present in the market place or the ETNs are accelerated (including at our option), in which case investors will receive a cash payment in an amount equal to the closing indicative value on the accelerated valuation date.
And just because there are never enough gullible gambling addicts out there, now that the TVIX is dead, presenting the VVIX.
March 14, 2012CBOE Introduces "VIX of VIX" Benchmark Index: Provides a Gauge for Measuring Volatility of the VIX Index ItselfCHICAGO and BOCA RATON, Fla., March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) announced today that it began publishing values for the CBOE "VIX of VIX" Index (ticker: VVIX(SM)) this morning.
As its name implies, the CBOE's VIX of VIX Index tracks the volatility of the CBOE Volatility Index (the VIX Index), the world's most widely-followed market volatility index.
"Volatility traders are intrigued with the ability to formulate new strategies based on the relationship between the VIX Index and the volatility of the VIX Index," CBOE Chairman and CEO William J. Brodsky said. "The fact that our customers were looking for a way to measure the volatility of the VIX shows just how far the VIX Index has come. We're thrilled to introduce a product that tracks the volatility of the world's most- watched volatility index."
VVIX reflects the market's consensus of expected volatility of the 30-day forward price of the VIX Index and provides new information for investors looking to formulate trading strategies based on the relationship between the VIX® Index and the volatility of the VIX Index.
The Index offers investors a way to gauge the risk premium in VIX Index option prices, much like the CBOE's VIX Index reflects the risk premium in S&P 500 Index options (SPX) prices.
VVIX is calculated using the same methodology as the VIX Index, which is derived from the price of a portfolio of out-of-the-money VIX option puts and calls.
CBOE, known as the home of volatility indexes, currently publishes data on two dozen volatility-related benchmarks and strategies. In addition to the CBOE "VIX of VIX" Index, since early 2011 CBOE has added 12 volatility indexes and one volatility strategy index, and CBOE and CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE) have collectively added six new volatility products.
Finally, just in case there is any confusion how this crying game would end, here is what we said about the TVIX at its launch in November 2010. You were warned.
Presenting The TVIX: A Double Leveraged VIX ETF
Ever feel like this market just does not provide enough unique and suicidal ways for you to lose your hard stolen money within nanoseconds of trade execution? Never fear - here comes the TVIX, a levered third derivative bet on volatility: simply said, the TVIX will be the world's first double leveraged VIX ETF. According to the ETF creator, VelocityShares, "the TVIX and TVIZ ETNs allow traders to manage daily trading risks using a 2x leveraged view on the S&P VIX Short-Term Futures™ Index and S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures™ Index, respectively, while the XIV and ZIV ETNs enable traders to manage daily trading risks using an inverse position on the direction of the volatility indices. The indices were created by Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC, a division of the McGraw Hill-Companies, Inc." Then again, why not just call these what they are: a novel way (brought to you via the synthetic CDO legacy product known as ETFs) to lose money with a 99.999% guarantee. As always, we wonder why anyone would trade this product, when, with much better odds, one would at least get comped in Vegas...
Here is the full product suite about to launched by Credit Suisse.
One has to love the fine print:
The ETNs, and in particular the 2x Long ETNs, are intended to be trading tools for sophisticated investors to manage daily trading risks. They are designed to achieve their stated investment objectives on a daily basis, but their performance over longer periods of time can differ significantly from their stated daily objectives. Investors should actively and frequently monitor their investments in the ETNs. Although we intend to list the ETNs on NYSE Arca, a trading market for the ETNs may not develop.
In this case, and as in everything else related to the market, our advice is stay away from these synthetic contraptions which are merely CDOs (and now CDOs cubed) for public consumption. On the other hand, we can't wait for someone to finally release an ETF or any other mechanism, that allows for the simple shorting of GM stock.