Friday, 09 February 2018 10:32

This Time Bomb is Much Bigger than the VIX

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(New York)

The last two weeks could hardly have been worse for investors. Stocks plunged and bonds are falling, with the former led by obsession over the VIX. However, according to Bloomberg there is a ticket timing much bigger than the VIX, and one you probably aren’t paying much attention too—ETF loan funds. The market is much bigger than the $8 bn of volatility linked ETFs that got wiped out over the last couple of weeks, try $156 billion between loan ETFs and mutual funds. The big worry is that since these kind of illiquid underlying investments—actual loans—cannot be sold so quickly as the ETFs, that it could cause huge losses as ETFs stampede out but fund managers cannot liquidate the underlying quickly enough.

FINSUM: So this is a provocative spin on a common argument. Our counter, however, is that credit worthiness is pretty good overall, so it doesn’t seem like an exodus will occur.

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