The chart above shows ratio of the Volatility Index to the yield on the Three Month Treasury Bill. It’s basically a simple fear or panic indicator. When stocks fall the VIX (volatility) rises as does the price of ultra-safe Treasury Bills. The ratio should then spike higher when volatility rises and investors seek the safety of T-Bills.
As the chart clearly shows, we haven’t seen panic like we’ve seen this year at any time during the past ten years. The chart includes the Long-Term Capital scare, 9/11, the 2002 stock panic and the “shock and awe” of Spring 2003. None of these even come close.