Last 5 posts


Welcome to Lord Copper

Opinions about lots of things - mostly related to the worlds' metal markets

A Minsky Moment

02 December 2020

The term Minsky Moment is named after the economist Hyman Minsky and refers to the point in time when a sudden decline in market sentiment invariably leads to a market crash. The collapse is typically attributable to reckless speculative activity that defines an unsustainable bullish period. This article attempts to outline how this type of market event could well play out and provides the rationale for the Minsky Moment to be highly possible when considering the status of global markets.


The Mysterious Mr Rich

25 November 2020

Browsing through my bookshelves last week, I came across something I hadn’t read for about thirty-five years. “Metal Men”, by A. Craig Copetas, didn’t set the world alight when it was published, but amongst those in its target audience in the metal industries it was pretty widely read. I didn’t remember much about it, so I have just re-read it.


Rolling Mills and Punctured Dykes

11 November 2020

The metal industries in Russia under the soviets were heavily geared towards serving the military needs of a heavily militarised nation. So when the system collapsed, there was an obvious excess of metal production facilities, since the constant demand of the military collapsed. That excess of production made fortunes - large and small - for lots of people, Russian and Western, who saw the opportunity of what were essentially low-cost plants to supply metal into the higher-priced western market.


I have a friend in Minsk

04 November 2020

If at some time in future if it is proved there is indeed a God, my betting is it will be Tom Lehrer; the mathematician whose University parodies at the piano in the 1950s spoke for an entire generation living under the threat of nuclear catastrophe. When that peril receded, and Tom was asked why he ceased writing he simply said, ‘All the things I used to think funny, now just make me want to cry’.



28 October 2020

I’ve just finished reading an interesting book, ‘Kleptopia’ by Tom Burgis, that presents the idea that we are living in a world where money is laundered for power, and the new ‘five families’ (as in Cosa Nostra) are represented by the Nats, the Brits, the Sprooks , the Petros and the Party. Well, we’ll come back to that bit.


Ghosts of LME Dinners Past

21 October 2020

It’s Sunday evening on the 18th of October 2020. I have had a couple of glasses of Mouton Cadet, a wine I have loved since first introduced to it in 1970 at the George & Vulture. I have been looking at the “virtual” LME Dinner Week ahead and it prompted me to think of other years. I think in earlier scribblings for Lord Copper I described my first LME Dinner and the episode at the Eve Club. As we don’t have the real thing this year, I have been thinking about a few of the other years I have had the privilege to enjoy. Real ones. I have picked three.


The Virtual Dinner

14 October 2020

Every year it is an autumn ritual as the nights draw in, the temperature drops, and leaves fall off the trees. In early October, nearly everyone in the metals business makes their way to London for the annual LME Dinner Week.