This week has been a rollercoater ride of emotions on the global markets, after weak manufacturing data from China caused a series of wild swings which saw the FTSE 100 lose five per cent on Monday, gain three per cent on Tuesday, fall another 1.5 per cent on Wednesday and rise three per cent on Thursday (following the pattern, it was 0.5 per cent down in lunchtime trading).
Meanwhile, the Vix index, which measures the market's expectations of 30-day volatility on the S&P 500 (hence its nickname: "the fear index"), spiked as high as 40 points on Monday, its highest since 2011. Even now, it remains at 26 points, higher than at any other time in the past year.
We all know uncertainty over the situation in China – including the ability of the People's Bank of China to prop up its equities – is the cause behind market uncertainty. But what made them lurch about quite so much?
1. The kids have been left in charge
It's August, the bank holiday's coming up and half the City is on holiday – so the theory which posits that the "b-team" left in charge while senior traders were enjoying some well-earned time off simply panicked and over-reacted isn't that far-fetched.