If at first you don't succeed...

September 24, 2017 01:08 PM

Business Insider has been reporting on the unusual trading activity of a mystery trader who placed a profitable short equity bet to the tune of $21 million on the Aug. 10 move in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). The trader dubbed “50-cent” by independent broker-dealer Macro Risk Advisors (MRA) has made a series of unsuccessful volatility bets throughout the year, according to BI. MRA specialized in analyzing global market risk and executing transactions on behalf of institutional investors, according to its website.  Business Insider reported in April that “50-cent” had already racked up $89 million in losses in the hope of a spike in the VIX. Those losses grew to $150 million prior to the recent winner. Apparently, the moniker is in reference to the size of the bets he makes. Business Insider noted that the trader’s identity has been traced by the Financial Times to Ruffer LLP, a $20 billion London-based investment management firm.  According to the story, “50-cent” is reinvesting the recent profits into more long out-of-the-money VIX calls.   

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