What Do the Kardashians and the Fed Have in Common?
Lots of TV time.
Fed governors will make a total 11 public speeches this week, some of which will be covered LIVE on-air, and all of which will be discussed ad nauseam on air.
Chairman Bernanke effectively opened the flood gates of communication last year when he opted to begin providing regular press events, complete with Q&A and forward guidance. On cue, the twelve Fed governors followed suit. They've become far more open about sharing opinions regarding conditions in their respective districts, even offering extra "color" on some of the behind-the-scenes debate. Never mind only seven members of the FOMC vote on policy. All twelve are free to talk, and we know what happens when too many chefs stir the broth...
Our friend and macro savant Peter Tchir of www.tfmarketadvisors.com made the Kardashian comparison this morning. With all the conflicting Fed-member opinions crossing the airwaves, he further wrote: "You literally need two computers cued up. One with your buy order, one with your sell order, and the fastest fingered traders on your desk poised to hit the news the second they decipher the embargoed stories. For those who believe in 'efficient' market theory, this is about as efficient as it gets."
For those less ambidextrous among us, there's a solution: The Volatility Index ETN VXX. It's an Exchange Traded Note which tracks the performance of the front month VIX futures.
We recognize this ETN must effectively roll positions monthly to maintain its front month mark, so the carry costs can add up over time. Even so, this is the easiest way we know to position for a near-term spike in volatility, especially since daily volume averages 41 million shares.
With 11 Fed appearances, a United Nations summit in New York and another GOP debt stand-off in Washington, we suspect volatility will move higher.