The world's most famous measure of volatility in financialmarkets is flashing a sign akin to boredom — languishing aroundlevels that prevailed before the global crisis.

Problem is, the VIX is tied to the U.S. S&P 500 index. Takea step back to look at the global picture, and the early days of2017 are showing elevated jumpiness similar to that seenduring the past two years.

Emerging market currencies lead the pack, illustrating both thedangers and potential returns from investing in assets ranging fromEgypt's pound to China's yuan. An investigation into pricefluctuations across financial markets over the past two decades byBloomberg shows how the beginnings of the past two years showed thehighest volatility since 2009, when the world was reeling from theLehman shock and the money market breakdown it unleashed.

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