The Alpha Exchange is a podcast series launched by Dean Curnutt to explore topics in financial markets, risk management and capital allocation in the alternatives industry. Our in depth discussions with highly established industry professionals seek to uncover the nuanced and complex interactions between economic, monetary, financial, regulatory and geopolitical sources of risk. We aim to learn from the perspective our guests can bring with respect to the history of financial and business cycles, promoting a better understanding among listeners as to how prior periods provide important context to present day dynamics. The “price of risk” is an important topic. Here we engage experts in their assessment of risk premium levels in the context of uncertainty. Is the level of compensation attractive? Because Central Banks have played so important a role in markets post crisis, our discussions sometimes aim to better understand the evolution of monetary policy and the degree to which the real and financial economy will be impacted. An especially important area of focus is on derivative products and how they interact with risk taking and carry dynamics. Our conversations seek to enlighten listeners, for example, as to the factors that promoted the February melt-down of the VIX complex. We do NOT ask our guests for their political opinions. We seek a better understanding of the market impact of regulatory change, election outcomes and events of geopolitical consequence. Our discussions cover markets from a macro perspective with an assessment of risk and opportunity across asset classes. Within equity markets, we may explore the relative attractiveness of sectors but will NOT discuss single stocks.
Armed with a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, Vineer brings a deep understanding of financial mathematics to developing trading strategies in the derivatives market. At the same time, he’s learned real lessons over the years about the inherent uncertainties in markets – the surprise Fed tightening in 1994, and the LTCM meltdown in 1998 were formative experiences for Vineer that now guide a risk philosophy that pays careful attention to the tails. Our in-depth discussion on the extremely low level of market volatility in 2017 uncovers Vineer’s framework for evaluating the risks that can emerge when volatility collapses.