By Jud Pyle, CFA, chief investment strategist for the Options News NetworkVIX this, VIX that -- why is it relevant? The CBOE SPX Volatility Index (VIX) has risen to prominence in recent years, especially among the options-trading crowd. No longer just seen as a "fear" barometer, defined by peaks and valleys, the VIX helps make sense of the wild world of options trading. Lately, the chatter surrounding the VIX has been that it has been deflating. Since hovering around the 75 mark last fall, the index has slowly declined and is now perched in the 40 area. So what, you say? Well, today, we're seeing two real-life examples in the financial sector of how reduced volatility can come back to bite call-buyers, especially those holding out-of-the-money positions.