by Rick Ackerman
Ever wonder why the dogs days of summer have seemed doggier than usual lately? Indeed, even with the broad averages in record territory, this has been the most boring summer that I can recall. Blame it on ETFs that were created to help, among others, Joe Sixpack spread off risk. It used to require deep pockets to do this with futures contracts, but with ETFs, every Tom, Dick & Harry with a $2000 trading account can do it. The result is that market volatility has been crushed by spread traders who typically short one-month volatility against VIX options expiring in two or three months.