As we detailed in Trillions In “Liquidity Support Is Going To Be Needed” As Swiss, Finns Join Europe’s Bailout Brigade and Sweden, Austria Start Bailing Out Energy Companies Triggering Europe’s “Minsky Moment,” it appears financial armageddon nears for Europe as the European Central Bank calls for a meeting with top bank executives to discuss how to prepare for a potential ‘Lehman-style’ collapse of energy companies amid worsening energy crisis.
Conversations between the ECB and lenders are taking place in order to understand the impact of Russian energy giant Gazprom’s sudden decision to “completely halt” all Nord Stream 1 transit altogether due to an “oil leak,” according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the talks. The ECB’s letter questions lenders’ readiness following a NatGas stoppage that could trigger a wave of energy company bankruptcies. The central bank wants to see how resilient the lenders will be during a period of duress. Lenders will submit their findings to the central bank in mid-September. At the end of the month, bankers will meet with the ECB for follow-up conversations. These interactions between the ECB and lenders are behind closed doors (for now).
The news of NS1 shuttering NatGas flows to Europe has sparked a series of European governments bailing out energy companies as they can no longer afford high NatGas prices and liquidity dries up.
Sweden followed in Austria’s and Germany’s footsteps, who announced emergency liquidity support to electricity producers after the government said it feared Russia’s decision to halt NatGas deliveries to Europe could put its financial system under severe strain. Finland and Switzerland are other countries that have joined the bailout brigade this week.
The numbers are adding up quickly as European nations are suddenly succumbing to what Zoltan Pozsar dubbed a “supply-chain Minsky moment” for European energy companies.
It gets better because the crisis, as explained by Norwegian energy giant Equinor ASA, warned that unless there’s government intervention to extend liquidity to energy companies, there could be a, get ready for this, margin call upwards of $1.5 trillion.