I began my career working with options in early 2008. The equity markets had begun a retreat from all-time highs set in October 2007. There were rumblings about concerns in the mortgage markets regarding sub-prime loans but the equity markets were still faring well and equities on my watchlist were continuing to climb. Levels of implied volatility in the overall markets were off of their recent lows but a read of around 20 on the VIX was not terribly high or concerning. Fast forward a few months to late 2008 and early 2009 and you see a different story entirely. When the market bottom was put in place in March 2009, the SPX had lost over 40% of its value in a mere 6 month period of time. The VIX spiked as high as 90 at one point and, even after beginning to fall as the markets bottomed, was still at elevated levels for quite some time.