We’ve also been keen to point out that the long list of cash flow negative US producers has only managed to stay in business this long because Wall Street has thus far been willing to plug the sector’s funding gap with cheap financing thanks to ZIRP and investors’ insatiable demand for anything that looks like it might offer some semblance of yield.
It is not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when” the entire complex goes under and when that happens, the relatively paltry sums banks have set aside against losses in their energy books will balloon as everyone on Wall Street simultaneously pulls a BOK Financial.
Indeed, we’re already hearing the not-so-distant rumblings of this oncoming default freight train as JP Morgan raises its net loan loss reserves for the first time in 22 quarters, Wells Fargo discloses $17 billion in “mostly” junk energy exposure, and Citi dodges questions about the reserves it’s holding against a $58 billion energy book that the bank may or may not be marking to market depending on what the Dallas Fed “didn’t” tell banksearlier this month.
M2M or no, higher provisions or not, the end of America’s oil “miracle” is coming and there’s nothing Wall Street can do to stop it. At this point in the game, no one is going to finance these companies’ cash flow deficits and the fundamentals in the oil market are laughably bad. Storage is overflowing, demand is withering, and supply is, well, “drowning” us all, to quote the IEA.
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