Thursday, September 9, 2010

VIX Seasonalities & Return Distribution Patterns

Ulises Carcamo Carcamo's PhD Thesis at University of Canterbury (Sept. 4th earthquake) points out a few interesting phenomenons about the VIX and OEX returns from 1988 to 2002. The math applied is relatively fundamental, as this is not an applied math doctorate, a basic understanding of statistics would be sufficient to read this paper.

1. The VIX (CBOE Volatility Index) likely holds some seasonality over time, verified via several statistical means. VIX tests for unit roots resulted negative, that means it is highly probable that VIX values are NOT a random walk, and as expected it holds a mean reverting nature.

2. Patterns, regularities around VIX returns.

VIX Day of the Week Effect (Keep in mind it's negatively correlated with the S&P500 stock index)

There's a statistically significant "Friday-effect".

This could be exploitable, that would take some further work. The bottom line here remains: financial time series do exhibit deterministic characteristics (ergo Random Walk theory sucks :).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Legal Outsourcing: it is here

What was once unthinkable has today become reality. "Cash-conscious Wall Street banks, mining giants, insurance firms and industrial conglomerates are hiring lawyers in India for document review, due diligence, contract management and more. " This generation of college students must seriously consider potential skill demand before investing the years of time and money/debt into the education industry.

Outsourcing to India Draws Western Lawyers

Partners in the West are asking legal outsourcing companies in India to create dedicated teams of lawyers for their firms, for example. Those teams could expand and contract depending on how much business the Western firm has. 'That means a law firm with 500 members in Chicago can compete with a 2,000-member firm in New York,' Ms. Dalrymple said.

So what's left as "un-outsource-able"? Probably just skills requiring understanding of local culture, language, etc. and self employment. At least that's how I see people survive around here.