Global markets went crazy this week, scrambling all those big narratives we had become so familiar with. The resurgent US dollar? Beaten back. The sturdy German stock market? Looking a little weak. Burned oil? On fire and up almost 10%. Tottering Greece? Well, Grexit fears are starting to feel very real, so that wasn’t much of a surprise. Yet even the mighty Bloomberg terminal couldn’t make it out unscathed, suffering a major outage and dragging down a UK sovereign debt auction with it.
All this makes it a perfect week, then, to check in with the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s volatility index, or VIX. Granted, it’s only a measure of options turnover for the S&P 500. And yes, it’s still down nearly 23% for the year. But it’s a useful snapshot that helps you realize you aren’t crazy, that everyone is as confused as you are.