Joe Biden may just get his “winter of death” after all–except this time, it’ll be in Europe, and it’ll be because the US government insists on forcing Europe to bear the brunt of its “punish Russia for moving on Biden Family Playground, aka Ukraine” (even though it’s not actually punishing Russia).
European populations are bracing for a frigid upcoming winter amid an impending avalanche of high energy costs and emerging inflation. On Sunday French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned that Russia is poised to totally halt gas supplies to Europe and that people must now “prepare”.
“Let’s prepare for a total cut-off of Russian gas; Today that is the most likely option,” Le Maire told an audience at an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence.
He later additionally explained to reporters, “You also have to prepare load-shedding plans, we are doing it. It means looking in a very specific way at each company, each employment area; Which are the companies that should reduce their energy consumption and which are the ones that cannot.”
In other words, a very sharp and deep recession.
He said the government is currently compiling a list of these major companies which would be too at risk if their facilities were suddenly deprived of gas supply. They would receive priority in the likely event of a shut-off from Russia. “We have to anticipate and to put ourselves in order of battle as of now,” he emphasized.
As an example, he offered according to Politico:
Le Maire mentioned Saint-Gobain, a major construction materials producer, as an example of companies that should not be deprived of gas supply, even in case of emergency. He pointed to possible damage to production equipment and the risk of environmental consequences.
Germany too is fearing the worst, as its main conduit for Russian natural gas, Nord Stream 1, has long been scheduled to go down for 10-day maintenance starting Monday. But the persisting fear is that Moscow won’t bring it back online, for the purpose of squeezing the German economy further as punishment for its Ukraine stance, forcing Berlin into emergency rationing.
Germany’s population of some 80-million is reliant on Russia for over one-third of total gas supplies, and there’s no immediate alternative. Should Moscow use “routine” maintenance as an excuse to keep supplies halted, some German publications are even predicting social unrest as the squeeze gets put on the working class population in particular.
Many renters in Germany are receiving unpleasant letters these days. As energy prices rise dramatically, landlords and property management companies are increasing the monthly flat rate for heating costs. One housing company in Berlin is announcing a 100% increase in heating prices for apartments heated with gas or oil.
Whether this will be enough is not clear. The high energy prices have a delayed impact because the advance payments are not offset against the actual costs incurred until the end of the year.
The GdW, an association that represents 3,000 housing companies, has calculated that each household would have to budget up to €3,800 ($3,870) more for energy in the coming year.
DW concludes of a potential domino effect from a Russian supply cut-off that “the entire economy would be affected. Prognos estimated that, if Russian gas supplies were to fail, Germany’s economic output could drop 12.7% by the end of the year.”
With both customers and industries squeezed, Europe will be plunged into one of the most devastating recessions in recent memory.
As we discussed previously, just how bad things could get will be revealed starting July 22 – which marks the pre-scheduled date that theoretically marks the end of the maintenance plan to “test mechanical and automated systems” on Nord Stream 1. There could easily be serious “problems” with parts found, potentially allowing Russia to extend the “maintenance shut-off” indefinitely.
Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid previously asked whether this could be the most important day of the year: “while we all spend most of our market time thinking about the Fed and a recession, I suspect what happens to Russian gas in H2 is potentially an even bigger story. Of course by July 22nd parts may have be found and the supply might start to normalise. Anyone who tells you they know what is going to happen here is guessing but as minimum it should be a huge focal point for everyone in markets.”
So Putin is now essentially Master of Europe, with the power to cut off most of Europe’s energy supply on a whim. Virtually every non-NATO power in the world is on his side, and he is speaking openly about ushering in a new, multipolar world order where the US doesn’t get to call the shots.
He will tighten the screws further on the Europeans, which will, in all likelihood, cause NATO to splinter. The Europeans will balk at continuing to carry out Washington’s “sanctions regime,” and start to act in their own best interest–rather than in the interest of the corrupt, depraved, rotted and despicable US ruling class.
And then what? When NATO fractures, Putin is free to invade the Baltic states, too, isn’t he? Washington will erupt in anger, but Europe will no longer be joining them in that chorus of sanctimony and entitlement.
European leaders, at this point, have more immediate problems to worry about, such as that their citizens have heated homes, food on the table, and gas to fill up their cars.
Now, I know they’re all delusional Green/ESG freaks who want to phase out all fossil fuels and have the entire world run on wind and solar, but they’re also smart enough to see what’s happening in Sri Lanka. In simple terms: if the people are starving, they will overthrow the government.
People can take an awful lot of abuse. They can tolerate political corruption, Wall Street corruption, sexual depravity by politicians, lying, stealing, wokeness and all the rest–as long as they have roofs over their heads, full bellies, and relative financial stability.
But the moment the basic necessities are jeopardized, all bets are off. If people can’t get food, they will overthrow you.
It’s almost as if Putin knew all this in advance, and is a step ahead of our “leaders” on everything. He knew how we’d respond to his invasion of Ukraine, and he knew that the weak link in the NATO chain would be Europe–specifically, Germany, which relies heavily on Russian natural gas. Germany is the main power of Europe, and if the Germans break with Americans on the sanctions regime against Russia, that means Europe has essentially left America’s side.
Putin knew all of this. He knew he would have many allies that would stand with him when he invaded Ukraine. He knew he could withstand the sanctions that were inevitably coming his way. And he knew that it wouldn’t take very long for Europe to crack and abandon the sanctions regime.
When you control much of an entire continent’s energy supply, it turns out you can wield quite a bit of power over them.
Jordan Schachtel, who publishes “The Dossier” on Substack, wrote about it as well:
Europe is staring down the potential for a continental “Dark Winter,” and as each month passes, fewer countries aligned with the Biden Administration seem willing to maintain the appetite for perpetual warfare over who gets to control Ukraine.
After being pushed back from Kiev in the early days of the war, filling the news media and US/EU politicians with large doses of hopium, the Russian military has narrowed its focus on strategically vital and resource rich areas of Eastern Ukraine. In doing so, Moscow has remained dominant on the battlefield, thanks in large part to its ability to overpower Ukrainian forces with its artillery arsenal. The Zelensky led government is losing, and NATO armies don’t want to continue depreciating their own arsenals to assist in the propping up of its failing client.
In addition to its continuing battlefield supremacy, Russia now has time on its side, thanks to the booming commodity market and Russia’s many willing energy buyers.
India, China, etc.
Ukraine is in the polar opposite situation. Kiev is becoming a massive financial liability for the West. Even as Western powers have already allocated over 100 billions dollars in weapons and aid to Ukraine, the Zelensky-led government continues to demand incredible sums to sustain the war effort.
And I have no doubt that Washington will continue to send your tax dollars to Ukraine.
Honestly, I would rather they just put it in a big pile and set it on fire.
But remember what I was saying about the NATO alliance beginning to splinter?
In some underreported signal that surfaced over the weekend, Germany (which largely controls the EU’s finances) has reportedly been blocking a $9 billion dollar tranche to the Zelensky regime, concerned over the country’s ability to remain solvent.
The Germans now realize it’s unwise to continue pissing off the Russians just because the Americans want it.
Europe is in such bad shape right now that their ESG-approved, climate hoaxing eco justice warrior politicians are desperately trying to fire up coal (!) power plants before the lights go out across the continent.
The Euro is now at parity value with the US dollar, something that hasn’t happened in nearly 20 years.
In hindsight, it should be clear by now that the sanctions never had a chance of achieving the stated objective of bankrupting the Russian economy and slowing its military. China, India, and dozens of other countries remained neutral and continued to trade openly with Moscow. Despite U.S. pressure, they did not even consider joining the sanctions effort.
As U.S. sanctions against Russia continue to collapse, the Biden Admin may find itself being able to count the remaining parties to the coalition on one hand.
With all of these continuing crises, coupled with a historic failure on the part of the Biden Administration, don’t be shocked if the war in Ukraine comes to an end sooner rather than later.
Because Europe will stop supporting Zelenskiy, realizing it’s futile, and because it constitutes needless antagonization of the Russians.
the market is now focusing on the worst case scenario: what happens if Russia cuts off all gas on July 22, the day even Bloomberg has now dubbed Europe’s “doomsday scenario.”
Here is a sample of what Wall Street expects to happen then: European stocks plunging 20%. Junk credit spreads widening past 2020 crisis levels. The euro sinking to just 90 cents, before a full-blown recession slams the world’s 2nd biggest economy.
And all this power in the palm of Putin’s hand, almost as if he knew precisely how much leverage he had back in February while Europe was – as always – completely clueless.
So to help Europe’s braindead bureaucrats, where energy policies have been dictated by a petulant Scandianvian teenager and a bunch of German “greens”, strategists across Wall Street have tried to put numbers on a scenario that would be unthinkable in normal times. The caveat of course is that there are so many variables, such as the length of any shutdown, the extent of supply cuts, and how far countries would go to ration energy, that anyone’s prediction is a guess at best. Even so, the scenarios are catastrophic.
“Europe is currently being caught in a vicious circle,” said Charles-Henry Monchau, chief investment officer at Banque Syz. Higher energy prices are hurting Europe’s economy, driving the euro lower. In turn, the weaker euro makes energy imports even more expensive, he said.
In other words, Europe is pretty much screwed.
But there is a way out of this, of course. As we went over above, Europe just has to back off of the sanctions and take a position of neutrality in this Russia-Ukraine business.
And I think they will.
Russia will turn the gas back on–maybe not on July 22nd, but eventually. Europe will fold here and leave the Americans on their own.
At that point, Putin will essentially have carte blanche to do as he pleases in not only Ukraine, but most of Europe.
End quote from the Wall Street Journal:
“Fears that a Russian gas embargo could cripple European economies and leave comfortable German burghers freezing in the dark next winter have replaced hopes that Western sanctions would bring Moscow to its knees” – WSJ