The Spread: Far From Business As Usual

Matt Raebel

Matt Raebel

Editor

This week on The Spread – Eurex adds new options on an MSCI index, Craig Donohue is re-elected chairman of the OCC’s board of directors, phishing scammers use fake COVID-19 alerts, and more.

Produced by Mike Forrester.

Transcription

Welcome to The Spread, I’m Matt Raebel, let’s talk options trading. Eurex announced early this week that it added a number of new MSCI derivatives products, including two options products, on the broad MSCI All Country World Index on April 6th. All over the world, demand for options seems to be increasing, even if the majority of trades are being done from people’s offices at home – bedrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms – whatever your setup is. Speaking of working out of a laundry room, FIA President Walt Lukken posted a picture of the makeshift laundry room workstation he’s been working out of since the quarantine began. He’s still wearing a tie every day, even if business is far from usual. The OCC re-elected Craig Donahue as executive chairman of the OCC’s board of directors, as well as re-electing several board members. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Not only did it have its best March ever last month, but the OCC also saw its most active first quarter ever for cleared options, according to data from TradeAlert. Its total volume – which includes options on indices, ETPs and individual equity options – beat its previous record set in Q4 of 2018. If I were a betting man, I’d bet their hot streak will continue.  If you’re hurting for something to do besides Netflix and counting the tiles on the kitchen floor, you might want to check out the OIC’s website if you haven’t given them a try before. They’re sponsored by the OCC, and they’ve got a lot of great articles and videos about handling volatility and risk mitigation, and it’s a way more productive way to spend your time stuck at home than binging The Great British Bake-Off for the third time. You won’t find Paul Hollywood teaching hedging strategies, that’s for sure. At this point, a lot of people have been drawing comparisons between the current crisis and the crash of 2008, but the World Economic Forum published an article this week arguing that we shouldn’t compare the two, because this crisis and the 2008 crash were caused by fundamentally different factors. All I know is, I don’t care if it’s a crocodile or an alligator – getting bit by one hurts either way. The Department of Homeland Security, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre issued an official warning – which the FIA shared on their website this week – about scam artists and hackers using phishing emails pretending to hold coronavirus-relevant alerts to steal private information. Everyone from individuals to large enterprises are being targeted now that more people are working from home. Some of the emails include links to convincing facsimiles of government websites that then ask you for personal information.  If you get an email you think seems even the slightest bit fishy, just remember – don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. That’s it for this week – thanks for watching. Until next time, happy trading.

Sources

Eurex extends MSCI offer with 14 futures and 2 options
Eurex
https://bit.ly/2XrxY65

Viewpoint: news from the laundry room
Walt Lukken – FIA.org
https://bit.ly/2VdBsWN

Inside Volatility Trading: April 7, 2020
Kevin Davitt – Cboe
https://bit.ly/2yIhxrD

OCC Re-Elects Executive Chairman, Member and Public Directors at 2020 Stockholder Meeting
OCC
https://bit.ly/2XtPs1k

OIC’s Response to COVID-19
OIC
https://bit.ly/2Xh1mvH

We shouldn’t be comparing the coronavirus crisis to 2008 – this is why
Jon Danielsson, Dimitri Vayanos, Paul Woolley, LSE Jean-Pierre Zigrand – World Economic Forum
https://bit.ly/2VjI5Hs

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