I am not saying that another subprime crisis or Lehman Brothers is just around the corner, but certain normal level of stress is sometimes good. The current extremely low level is obviously artificial—an artefact of non-standard measures, quantitative easing in particular. In other words, there's too much money in the market chasing too few quality investments. As a result, even low quality risky investments (junk bonds) are overpriced.
Certainly not normal financial conditions.
How to Interpret the Index
The average value of the index, which begins in late 1993, is designed to be zero. Thus, zero is viewed as representing normal financial market conditions. Values below zero suggest below-average financial market stress, while values above zero suggest above-average financial market stress.