In Top Five VIX Spikes below, I have detailed the highest VIX values attained in an intra-day basis. In the table below, I offer up the ten highest end of day closes in the VIX. Regarding the “event trigger,” the dividing line between the Russian financial crisis and the problems associated with Long-Term Capital Management is somewhat arbitrary. For the sake of simplicity, I am counting September 21, 1998 as the break point between the Russian Financial Crisis and public knowledge of the LTCM situation.
Note that end of day VIX calculations are made at 4:15 p.m. ET, so these numbers reflect a short stretch of after hours activity.
With an hour or so of trading left to go, the current 46.38 would be a new record close for the VIX.