One of the biggest topics on the minds of financial services executives in 2011 has been volatility, with a slew of articles and TV news stories pinning the blame on high-frequency trading, hedge funds and leveraged ETFs.

For example, between Aug. 5 and Aug. 30, the S&P 500 Index averaged a 2.5% move up or down every day. However, careful data analysis actually proves that it’s the global macro environment—most recently the resurgence of the Eurozone debt crisis and the downgrade of U.S. Treasury bonds—that is driving this volatility.

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