Last 5 posts


Welcome to Lord Copper

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

Is China's Growth Faltering?

12 December 2018

China’s economic growth has been powering ahead for decades. However, recent headlines make some sober reading. In the third quarter 2018, China’s GDP grew 6.5 percent, less than half of its peak of 15.14% in 1984, and the slowest since 1990.


Les Evènements and Parlour Games

05 December 2018

I can remember as a schoolboy in 1968 watching TV footage of the merry month of May in Paris, when first students, then intellectuals and then unionists started ripping up cobblestones to hurl at the police. There they stood, in the flickering light of burning barricades, their chants of “CRS-SS” taunting the massed ranks of the paramilitary guardians of the peace.


Far Away and Long Ago

28 November 2018

As one or two recent pieces in this series have gone fairly far back in history, I thought it might be interesting to go back to the days of the Ark, just after I started at Metal Bulletin. The tipping point for this story was in 1953, when the artificially drawn out wartime closure of the LME copper ring came to an end and with it the industry's practice of pricing copper on the "Export" averages of the US " E & MJ Metal and Mineral Markets" (now Platts Metals Week). With tin, lead and zinc already restored to LME trading, the copper ring was initially timed last of the four, though a return to the prewar order of copper first was soon re-established.


Tin Crisis - Part Two

20 November 2018

On the first morning of the first day of the Tin Crisis, nobody had any inkling of defaults, multi-million-pound losses and legal wars – we simply knew that the Buffer Stock Manager had stopped his operations and that the LME had closed its tin market.


There's None so Blind.....

14 November 2018

I’ve just finished reading a book of compelling interest - “Travellers in the Third Reich”, by Julia Boyd. I understand that not everyone is as fascinated as I am by twentieth-century European history, but bear with me; there is some contemporary relevance.


Salving Consciences

07 November 2018

At a time when trade wars threaten and trading volumes are constantly under threat, absolutely the last thing any exchange needs is to put further barriers in the way of trading, especially so in the wake of a raft of sanctions on Russian and Iranian products.


The Clerk, the Finger and the Soviet Union

31 October 2018

I just typed that title and immediately wondered: what happened to the word “clerk” in the English Language? To me it is a word that perfectly describes a working position in any clerical or supporting role. It has almost disappeared. Shame. These days it’s all Assistant Vice Presidents and any other such title which bears no relationship to that person’s position or what they practically do.