Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fear subsides, prices rise (6)

I've been posting updated versions of this chart since early November, arguing that since fear of a financial market meltdown was one of the causes of this crisis, then a reduction in fear and a return of confidence would be essential for a market recovery. As this chart shows, fear (using the Vix index as a proxy) has fallen to almost "normal" levels, and the market has been rising. Equity prices are obviously lagging the improvement in confidence, but I still see an awful lot of doomsayers out there saying that this is a sucker's rally.

In any event, we now see swap spreads almost back to normal, and equity market volatility almost back to normal. Bond market volatility is still on the high side, but much less than it was late last year. Commodity prices are up pretty much across the board. Real estate markets appear to be bottoming. Confidence is returning. This sure looks to me like it has all the makings of a recovery.

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