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Volatility Views

Volatility Views is the premier radio program for volatility traders. From interviews with leading industry guests to detailed analysis of volatility products, this program takes you inside the world of volatility trading like never before. If you are an experienced options trader looking to expand your understanding of volatility, or if you are simply curious about VIX and other volatility products, then this is the program for you.

Dec 10, 2012

Volatility Views 72: Closing the Book on Black Swans

Volatility Review: It was a very slow week in volatility, with the VIX sticking close to 16. Near-term VIX futures were trading at 0.50 below the cash contract at one point this week.
Listener Mail: Mark, Andrew, and Don answer listener questions.

  • Comment from Teddy: This is a great article. I really hope you guys discuss this on the next episode of Volatility Views. I'm curious about this new low vol VIX. What is the point of it?
  • Comment from Oscar (about Woodard's article): This is a good article, and given the last episode of Vol Views, this is very timely. When are you going to have Condors Options on the show? It seems like they would fit nicely with Mark, Don and Mark.
  • Comment from Asymmetric Risk: I've never read any of Nassim's books, much less his research. However I've probably traded more options with him than any of his counterparties, going back to the 80's when we were the two most active currency options traders globally. I would describe him as a buyer of back spreads, and very well positioned for gaps or jumps. Many of which were not black swans per se, for example, the sudden 10% currency move we had when the Swiss National Bank put a floor on the Euro recently. Your critique of his strategy was unduly harsh, because while he is set up for black swans, he isn't dependent on them to be profitable, as you guys characterize him.
  • Email from Mark S: Should I even pay attention to the vega numbers when trading weekly options? It seems like vol is mostly irrelevant in such a short-dated option and that any measurement of that vol would be highly prone to error. Weeklies seem to be gamma/theta beasts, so that's where I expend the bulk of my effort and analysis.

The Crystal Ball: We're still waiting for a settlement in Washington on "the fiscal cliff."

The Crystal Ball: We're still waiting for a settlement in Washington on "the fiscal cliff."