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Who’s Done What? Nov 10 2011

This week:

Australia’s jobless rate fell in October, underscoring the strength of the nation’s economy even as Europe’s debt crisis sparks fears of a fresh global recession. Unemployment fell to a seasonally adjusted 5.2% in October from 5.3% the previous month, maintaining the country’s record as one of the developed world’s best performing labour markets. The number of employed rose 10,100, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today.

The IMF MD Lagarde says “There are dark clouds gathering in the global economy – If we do not act, and act together, we could enter a downward spiral of uncertainty, financial instability, and a collapse in global demand. Ultimately, we could face a lost decade of low growth and high unemployment.”

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (the VIX or ‘fear’ index) was up 30%+ to 36.16, its biggest increase in almost three months although I always feel that people sell the VIX as a leading indicator when all it really is a statement of where things are at now. It is no more intuitive than quoting the level of the S&P 500 index to which it is inversely related – so its up today when the market is down…pretty obvious really. So what’s it going to do tomorrow? It peaked at around 80 in the GFC….the long term ‘norm’ is around 20.


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