Gold's VIX Term Structure 'Most Inverted' Since Lehman

While there are obviously sellers in the gold market, there is also a dramatic spike in demand for protecting what is still being held (remember there is a buyer for every seller). Gold's short-term VIX (implied volatility) has spiked to 18 month highs above 29% but it is the steepness of the term-structure of volatility that shows just how much protection is being sought. The difference between the one-month volatility and one-year volatility is almost 10 vols - the highest level of inversion (short-term risk higher than long-term) since Lehman. It seems the market is extremely fearful of further volatility in the short-term but less concerned longer-term. What is also worrisome is that the last two times that Gold's VIX was this much higher than the S&P's VIX was June 2006 (when the first hedge funds started to implode from Subprime) and Sept 2008 (Lehman). It appears that gold volatility is signalling counterparty risk concerns once again.

 

Gold's short-term VIX is its highest relative to medium-term VIX since Lehman as protection is bid...

 

and it seems the last two times that goldprotection was in such big demand relative to stocks was when counterparty risk was rising once again...

 

Charts: Bloomberg