Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Vix dog millionaire" (VXX; TVIX)

A subject near and dear to our flinty hearts.
From FT Alphaville:
Macro Risk Advisors’ (MRA) Dean Curnutt has picked on a very interesting development in the land of volatility ETNs. In the last few days there’s been an absolutely astounding amount of vega trading through these products.
As he notes:
One client summarized the situation as “the volatility ETNs are the dog and SPX implied vol is the tail.”
The above applies to two products specifically, the VXX — the long-standing Barclays iPath ETN whose strategy is focused on rolling across short-term Vix futures — and TVIX, a 2x levered VXX product marketed by India’s VelocityShares, but backed by Credit Suisse and launched in November 2010.
It’s the sudden growth in the shares outstanding of the latter — to 35.725m this February week versus less than 6m in December 2011 — which is perhaps the most eye opening:

Though shares outstanding in the VXX have also been rising steadily
...MORE (the good stuff)