The explosion in open interest across European VIX (VStoxx) options is unprecedented.
As the 4-way-tie in polls ahead of the French election looms, it appears everyone and their cat has piled into some kind of levered protection on the outcome...The number of VStoxx options outstanding has climbed to a record as investors increase hedging before the French presidential election, with polls indicating a close race.
and judging by the spike in VStoxx relative to VIX, it is buying protection, not selling.... (note the complacent collapse of Europe's risk premium over US as the Dutch Election did not see Wilders win - even though his support grew notably)
As Bloomberg reports, the shattering of market calm has pushed the CBOE Volatility Index to its highest level since the U.S. vote in November, but even more impressive is the jump in its European counterpart. The VStoxx Index, a measure of Euro Stoxx 50 Index options costs, has surged 39 percent this month through Tuesday, reaching a four-month high versus the VIX.
The question is - if Le Pen wins, is this fully-loaded hedged position enough to BTFD (see Brexit, Trump) or not this time?