As measured by the VIX.
Complacency At 5 Year Highs
Short-term expectations of volatility, as measured by VIX, traded down close to a 13% handle this morning as the so-called 'fear' index dropped to practically its lowest level since July 2007. As we mentioned last week, complacency is back in more ways than just the level of VIX. Realized volatility, especially after last week's small range and low volume markets, has fallen but implied volatility is now at its most 'complacent' relative to realized vol since the end of LTRO - as it appears anticipation of the fully-expected printing-press euphoria is priced into both asset and vol markets. Furthermore, the term-structure of volatility, which measures short-term concerns relative to medium-term, has fallen at its fastest pace in 5 months (again confirming short-term complacency) and has only been this steep (short-term volatility dramatically low relative to medium-term volatility) once since the March 2009 rally began - right near the post-LTRO2 highs in the S&P.
VIX at 5 year lows...
and the term-structure of implied volatility has only been this steep (short-term complacent) once before since the March 2009 rally began - and that was the highs in March/April 2012....MORE