"It Hasn't Been This Bad Since The Viking Age": Dry Bulk CEO Warns Of Bankruptcy Tsunami, Counterparty Risk

Tyler Durden's picture

In the past three months we have repeatedly shown that, despite the recent modest rebound off the all time lows, the bottom is about to fall out of the dry bulk shipping market in articles such as these:

Overnight, the CEO of Dry bulk shipper Golden Ocean Group, Herman Billung spoke before an industry conference in Oslo, and made it clear that our worst-case expectations may prove to be optimistic.

Photo: Golden Ocean Group

He said that Dry Bulk shippers should expect little respite for another two years, adding that an enormous oversupply of vessels isn’t sustainable: "It's a fair assumption to make that only half of the orderbook in 2016 will be delivered."

He warned that "in the coming months there will be a lot of bankruptcies, counterparty risk will be on everybody's lips."

Useful tip: any time a CEO is warning about counterparty risk, it's probably a good idea to listen.

Just to emphasize his point to the local audience he said that "The market has never been this bad before in modern history. We haven't seen a market this bad since the Viking age. This is not sustainable for anybody and will lead to dramatic changes."

Yes, it's that bad.

And what's worse, is that once Billung is proven to be right and the dry bulk bankruptcy tsunami is unleashed sweeping away hundreds of ships with it, the next question will be just which  (mostly European) banks, have the greatest "secured" loan exposure to the dry bulk industry, a sector where we fully expect recoveries on secured loans to be in the pennies on the dollar.