Welcome to a special edition of the Alpha Exchange, one in which your host and guest are one and the same. Above all, our conversations on this podcast are aimed at helping you think about risk. After all, it was the Spanish philosopher George Santayana who famously said, “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”
This podcast has three parts. First, an update on a project I’ve been working on, MacroMinds. I created this foundation back in 2019 to raise funding for causes in the NY area focused on student education. Our “business model” is simple – host a once a year, highly differentiated symposium featuring industry leaders who share their insights on the remarkably complex world of investing. On June 7th in NYC, we are doing just that, and I could not be more excited about our incredible agenda.
Second, I review a couple of prices in the world of optionality and what they mean in the context of today’s risk dynamics. Specifically, I discuss the fast widening level of CDS written on the US as the reference asset. In the context of the unfolding debt ceiling drama, this instrument is worth keeping an eye on. Next, I review the change in the volatility surface on gold, specifically the emerging bid to upside calls.
Lastly, I review some work I did a number of years ago, which I call, simply, “Ten Handy Facts on Vol”. These are characteristics of the behavior of volatility in asset prices and the options that are written on them. I hope you find some value in this exercise and I thank you for listening.