If you’ve been following along, I try and go out of my way to discuss risk management techniques, tools and signals when the market gives them to us. Whenever I lay out a thesis, I like to talk about what the market should look like in the case that we are correct, while at the same time outlining what the environment would look like if we are wrong. The idea is to picture both scenarios and as the data comes in, try to identify which outcome we’re in as quickly as possible.
Based on what we saw in some of the volatility related products this week, it’s clear someone got squeezed, or a bunch of someones. There was big money leaning in the other direction clearly. We’ve seen this sort of market behavior regularly – last April/May, then again in August. This was more extreme and most likely not the last time it happens. This is becoming normal. These leveraged products are a real risk when they all get squeezed simultaneously, there are forced liquidations. We saw elevated levels of volatility throughout the 90s and stocks kept rallying for years. So we can have volatility and rising stock prices at the same time. [Read more…]