Sharply Unchanged

Adjectives and narratives in the media, particularly the Financial Media, would have you believe that markets are either soaring or plummeting. There is not much reader (or viewer)  interest in the gray areas of fed vs vol meandering, muddling along, or flatlining. However, if you look at volatility almost across all asset classes, it has been stagnant to declining. The question is why? The answer is all contained within the chart above.  It may just be a coincidence but the stealth QE instituted in early September has led to a dramatic fall in volatility across capital markets, particularly in equities. It is hard to argue with this chart, particularly as it unfolded against a backdrop of trade talk that could be best be described as unsettling. The Fed has once again swamped the markets with liquidity and in doing so ostensibly eliminated any fat tail risk. For a taste of what’s to come, reread anything written by Nassim Taleb. Spoiler Alert: Its not good.

 

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