On Friday, in Fear and the Flight to Safety, I posted a chart of the ratio of the VIX to the 10 year Treasury Note yield. That post triggered a number of interesting responses, two of which I would like to highlight here.
First, Jason Goepfert of SentimenTrader.com, noted in a Minyanville.com article titled Cashing in on the Panic that past instances in which volatility spiked to extreme levels relative to the 10 Year Treasury Note offered superb buying opportunities. Goepfert examined returns from five days to three months from the spike and found “results going forward were exceptionally positive and consistently so.” See his table of results for additional details.
Second, Tom Drake of Putting the Pieces Together suggested an obvious enhancement to the ratio chart: substituting the 3 month Treasury Bill yield for the 10 Year Treasury Note, on the grounds that the flight to safety usually favors short-term government debt. A monthly chart of the VIX to 3 month T-bill yield ratio (VIX:IRX), which is similar in many respects to Friday’s chart, is as follows: