Fund managers’ cash levels are at their highest in nearly 15 years amid worries over a British exit from the European Union and the possibility that global monetary policy is failing.

Portfolios are at 5.7 percent cash, the highest level since November 2001 and “consistent with recession,” according to the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Fund Manager Survey. Allocation to equities hit a four-year low, though commodity allocation reached a 12-month high.

UPDATE: A look at where cash levels have been historically:

Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch










The rise in fear comes even though stock market prices continue to hold positive, and estimates are that the string of declines in corporate profits will end in the third quarter. The CBOE Volatility Index, a popular market fear gauge, is around its highest levels since early February.

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