Is This The Mysterious Russian Phenomenon That Is Booting Volatility Lower?

Amid emerging Market crises, slowing global growth narrative, China credit impulse negative, US consumer credit growth slumping, global trade wars, and G-7 uncertainty...  investors have been dumping equity market protection with both hands and feet since the start of June...

But there could be another more-seasonal reason for the decline of volatility expectations... and it's coming from Russia of all places.

As Bloomberg reports,  an adage among the football faithful (some - who failed to quality - might call it soccer) has it that the summer lull in markets kicks off early whenever the World Cup takes place.

A look at historical volatility data suggests they may have a point.

As humanity’s most popular sport, the quadrennial World Cup is one of the biggest events in the global calendar -- an occasion that in theory is global enough to compete for the attention of traders, with muted price swings the result.

“There’s nothing like a World Cup to keep people completely distracted,” said Greg Saichin, a bond investor at Allianz Global Investors in London. “Hopefully volatility will come down and we’ll be able to clip the coupon for five weeks.”

Stock volatility declined during four out of the last five World Cups

This year’s event will take place in Russia from June 14 until July 15 and will include teams from 32 countries.

And if you're looking for the optimum vol-selling times, here is the full schedule...

Sadly the main source of uncertainty this year - Italy, the U.S., China, and North Korea - will not be taking part, so maybe bid some vol next time you see an 11 handle on VIX, just in case.