It’s not quite hoping for others’ misfortune, but traders at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. made nine figures basically betting on it.
In the wake of the deadly winter storms that strangled Texas in February, Bloomberg News reported Goldman profits could reach $100 million.
Thousands of those in Texas and other southern U.S. states were left without electricity, clean water and heat, and those earnings from power and natural gas sales – along with savvy financial hedges after spot prices jumped – could appear even higher.
Bloomberg raised the possibility of the total reaching $200 million on paper, but actual profits aren’t likely to be that high. Various predicted legal challenges and bankruptcies will contribute to that reduction.
Texas energy companies were under fire for dramatic fluctuations – and some have filed for bankruptcy protection already – during the freeze as emergency fuel and power prices spiked.
“The polar vortex drove volatility in energy markets, and, as a market-maker and liquidity provider, we were positioned to help our clients manage their risks in that challenging environment,” said a Goldman Sachs spokeswoman in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.
The Financial Times reported that Bank of America is in line for $100 million-plus from trades related to the Lone Star State’s energy market, though B of A said revenue would be offset by Texas-energy-related losses and reduced investments.
Earlier this week, CNN reported about 390,000 Texas residents were still under boil water advisories, almost two weeks after a winter storm slammed large swaths of the South.
The recovery continues, with the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) website showing 399 active boil water notices in effect as of Monday, while 1,780 notices have already been lifted.