OptionMetrics Blog

July 8, 2020

Wells Fargo: Sizing Up the Implied Dividend Cut

By Garrett DeSimone, PhD and Abhinav Gupta

On June 25th, the Federal Reserve released results of its 2020 stress test for banks. New guidelines were published forcing banks to halt buybacks and reduce dividend payouts. As a result, Wells Fargo (WFC) will have to cut its dividend, but by precisely how much? The bank will give its answer on July 14, along with company earnings on July 14. Sell-side analysts have come forth with their forecasts regarding the reduction.   More»

June 9, 2020

Extraordinary Times for the Variance Risk Premium

By Garrett DeSimone, PhD

The S&P 500 has clawed back nearly all its losses since hitting its COVID-19 induced low late March. This remarkable rally of over 40% is historical considering it also ranks as one of the best 50-day runs of all time. It is also extraordinary from a volatility perspective, and what we know about risk premiums. The volatility risk premium is compensation investors receive for providing “insurance” against changes in market volatility.   More»

May 4, 2020

Tail Risk in the Energy Sector

By Garrett DeSimone, PhD

The energy sector has been hammered in the combined wake of OPEC’s failed output deal and plummeting demand for oil as a result of Covid-19. Oil futures have gone negative, to establish a whacky super contango precedent. This crash in prices is a death blow for highly leveraged oil companies. The bankruptcy dominoes have already begun to fall, with Whiting Petroleum and Diamond Offshore earlier this month. A common fundamental approach to determining long term viability in this environment is breaking down accounting metrics, such as Debt-to-Equity or EBIT/Net Interest.   More»

April 22, 2020

Gamma Traps and Dealer Imbalances

By Garrett DeSimone, PhD

The market has seen some wild moves over the last month, which has drawn parallels only to the price action at the onset of the Great Depression. Several pundits are willing to blithely attribute this environment to some form of derivatives dealer behavior with minimal economic intuition. The goal of this introductory post is to enlighten readers on some derivatives mechanics at play here using some (light) quant intuition.   More»