JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank are rationing hot water and turning down the lights ahead of a chilling winter as banks prep for Europe's energy crisis
Hi. I'm Aaron Weinman. Wall Street banks — both US and European — are quite literally turning off the spigots to preserve energy across their European offices, which are preparing for a chilling winter.
Firms like JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank are shutting off hot water and water fountains to mitigate the impact of the Russian government's decision to stop the flow of gas to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Russia — which was hit with sanctions after President Vladimir Putin chose to invade Ukraine — said Nord Stream 1 wouldn't reopen until those sanctions were lifted.
JPMorgan's European offices have carried out power outage simulations, tests which help the bank prepare for a loss of power.
The Russian government's decision to stem the flow of gas to European countries — which are heavily reliant on energy from Russia — is having a knock-on effect to various parts of the global economy from utilities bills to foreign exchange volatility (stock up on your USD!).
Let's dig into it.
1. JPMorgan is mulling the use of diesel generators to stay online as banks' European offices contemplate life without the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. Deutsche Bank is switching off hot water in bathrooms and changing the temperatures in its offices.
The German lender is also turning off the fountain and the lit-up advertising outside its headquarters in Frankfurt.
Other finance companies, from France's BNP Paribas to insurance firm Zurich, are also taking steps to preserve energy ahead of the coming winter chill. Should things worsen, Zurich may shut off services like its office gym.
Financial services firms are responding to Russian energy giant Gazprom's decision to shut down a pipeline that is crucial to Europe's energy sector.
This is the second time in recent months that Gazprom has turned off Nord Stream 1. The pipeline was shut down on August 31 for three days of maintenance.
Despite going back online on September 2, it was only operating at 20% capacity. Gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany. It has historically supplied about a third of the gas exported by Russia to Europe.
Since then, it's been a mad scramble by European nations to source gas from other nations like Norway or the Netherlands. Germany has also sought to expand infrastructure to enable it to import more liquefied natural gas from the US and Qatar.
As temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere cool in the coming months, European homes and offices will be hard pressed to diversify their energy mix and conserve their existing energy sources to ensure homes and businesses remain heated.
In other news:
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3. Broadcom's $61 billion acquisition of VMWare is poised to expand its efforts in the cloud. But customers and employees say the deal squanders VMWare's success. Insider took a deep dive into the frustrations bubbling up in the company's ecosystem as the buyout progresses.
4. Twitter's legal battle with Elon Musk has offered up a clue about who manages the fortune of the billionaire. Twitter has subpoenaed Jon Neuhaus, a managing director at Musk's preferred investment bank Morgan Stanley. Here is what we know about the wealth advisor. A judge, meanwhile, has called Musk's legal team's efforts "suboptimal" and took a shot at his decision to waive due diligence on his original agreement to buy Twitter.
5. British movie-theater operator Cineworld has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US. The world's second-largest movie chain has $1.94 billion in debt from existing lenders, and it expects to exit Chapter 11 in the first quarter of 2023. PJT Partners is financial advisor to Cineworld, while AlixPartners is restructuring advisor. Kirkland & Ellis and Slaughter & May are legal counsel to the cinema operator.
6. The death of Bed Bath & Beyond's former chief financial officer, Gustavo Arnal, has renewed scrutiny of the struggling retailer. Here is a look at what led up to this critical juncture, and whether the company will sink or swim from here.
7. Goldman Sachs' internships have ended, but the interns don't have job offers (yet), according to efinancialcareers. Interns at the bank's London office will not find out if they get to convert their internships into full-time jobs until a few weeks after the program ends.
8. Bank of America is planning its new return-to-office policies in the next six-to-eight weeks, Bloomberg reported. The plans will be based on feedback the bank received from staff surveys, Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said at a conference on Tuesday.
9. Angelina Jolie's former investment company is suing Brad Pitt for $250 million. The firm is alleging that Pitt secretly moved assets and devalued the former couple's joint wine company, Chateau Miraval.
10. Miren, a fintech that helps lenders assess small-business owners, just scored a grant from Google for startups. Here is the 16-slide pitch deck the company used to help founder Gabriela Campoverde become a finalist for the David Prize, a $200,000 grant awarded annually to five New Yorkers.
Done deals and people moves:
- Private-equity investor Francisco Partners has acquired a controlling interest in Kobalt, a music and technology company.
- Antelope, a pet-wellness company owned by Alpine Investors, has bought Ark Naturals Company, another pet health and wellness brand. Ark will still operate under its brand name.
- Bank of America has named JuliAnn Burkhardt as its chief strategy officer for global investment banking, Bloomberg reported. Burkhardt — who joined BofA in 2007 — will succeed Dave Fishman. She was most recently a managing director in the bank's consumer and retail investment-banking division.
- Truist has hired Hayes Smith to oversee its investment-banking arm's private-equity coverage, Bloomberg reported. He joins from Credit Suisse. The Charlotte-based bank has also hired Chris Cormier to lead its technology, media, and telecommunications equity-capital-markets business. Cormier joins from UBS.
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