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Digital Subscriptions > The Hedge Fund Journal > Issue 132 – May 2018 > Volatility and Tail Risk Educational Event – London 2018

Volatility and Tail Risk Educational Event – London 2018

A normalising volatility regime?

EVENT

The annual Volatility and Tail Risk Educational Events (held in Sydney, London and Zurich) have raised more than $500,000 for charities such as VIMBA, Woman’s Trust, Vision for a Nation and Beanstalk. The London event held on April 12th, 2018, generated $106,000. The Hedge Fund Journal nearly always attends the London day and here we review highlights from a very candid discussion amongst leading hedge fund managers of volatility and other strategies, economists, exchanges, brokers, allocators, academics and other market participants.

Volatility flashpoints

There are always Cassandras calling for crises, and a stopped clock must be right twice a day, but in early 2018 it seems that a range of risk factors are coalescing to ramp up volatility.

Event chair, Maya A.Z. Rodriguez, Managing Partner of AZR Capital, spotlighted that geopolitics and domestic politics are heating up, with far-right politicians winning power in multiple countries while the Middle East faces dictatorships, civil wars and chaos. Veteran war reporter, Robert Fisk, said he is investigating the provenance of weapons used by Isis and Nusra. His findings could heighten political tensions outside the region.

Trade wars are another risk, pointed out by Lena Komileva, Chief Economist at G+ Economics, who also reckons that “markets are complacent about central banks ending quantitative easing for the first time in a decade. The Fed is withdrawing $1.5 trillion of QE, of which $380 billion is coming this year. The ECB’s QE policies have had effect through multiple channels – credit, currency, interest rates, duration, and signalling” – all of which could backpedal. “February 2018 saw financial conditions turn negative for the first time since February 2015 which preceded a major stock market correction, and the IMF’s Financial Stability Review has identified medium term vulnerabilities rising,” she added. Higher rates could have greater impact because “non-financial debt as a percentage of GDP has surpassed pre-crisis levels in China and the G20,” she mapped out.

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Informing the Hedge Fund Community. With access to some of the industry’s biggest names and an astute and talented group of writers and contributors, The Hedge Fund Journal has established itself as a trusted source of information on the hedge fund industry.