“[Vladimir] Putin gets paid in Petro Dollars,” CEO Keith McCullough wrote in today’s Morning Newsletter. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries to solve the aforementioned trifecta of sovereign risk (Russian CDS up to 282 bps wide now – a 2 yr high) by firing up the geopolitical risk news flow.”
We know what we think here at Hedgeye. We wanted to know what you think. So we asked in today’s poll: Is Putin going to do something big to send oil prices higher?
At the time of this post, the votes leaned toward YES at 63%; 37% NO.
“What choice does he have?” asked one YES voter. “Failed bond offering; collapsing ruble; currency outflows. At a minimum he will force the market to react which, most likely, is all he wants.”
Another person who voted YES said, “Putin is not going to sit here and take a beating from the Western powers. He's a thug at heart, besides [retaliating] violently through war, the next best weapon is the oil price. He will make the Western economy suffer from high oil prices.”
On the other side, however, one NO voter argued that “Putin will act within his immediate sphere of control. He can manipulate oil/gas supply and prices in Ukraine/Germany etc but not likely to try - or succeed - on the world stage in a lasting way.”
Additionally, another NO voter questioned what Putin could do and that “almost all the Russian outcomes have already been considered by the big oil market participants.”
Or as this NO voter cleverly pointed out: “The truth is that no one has a crystal ball. But if the debate gets loud on whether he'll do something, the market will react and he might not have to.”