Last 5 posts

Archive

Welcome to Lord Copper

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

It doesn't always contain what it says on the tin

17 April 2019

Things aren’t always what they seem, and the mining and metals business offers lots of scope for dubious - and even nefarious - activities. There were the (possibly?) apocryphal stories of attempts to blow up the Benguela Railway to cut copper shipments in order to create tightness in the market, to the benefit of, presumably, somebody’s long position. There was the Bre-X scam, featuring salted “gold” mines, and the Poseidon nickel game in the late 1960s; incidentally, I remember as a schoolboy hearing a cousin of my mother waxing lyrical about how much he was making on his Poseidon shares - how he ended up when it crashed, though, I honestly can’t remember.

read more...

Customs Union wouldn't work

10 April 2019

I’m getting seriously concerned by the intellectual capacity of those who would be our leaders. I’m thinking particularly of the UK, but I wouldn’t by any means make the criticism exclusive, frankly. What is particularly irritating me at the moment is the fatuous discussion of “a (or the) customs union”.

read more...

Listen to what they say.......

03 April 2019

Last week I wrote about some phrases that chill the soul; this week, I thought, on a lighter note, I’d mention some that should - but didn’t always - have set off alarm bells in the mind of a metal trader.

read more...

Re-Education.....Coming Soon!

27 March 2019

I’m sorry to be writing another political piece so soon after the last one, but there are some phrases that send a shiver of horror down the spine. Top of the list, I guess, is ‘Final Solution’ - hearing that used is a pretty sure sign that something very dubious is being proposed, or that the proposer has genuinely no grasp of how hurtful it can be. Also up there in the list would be ‘Political Re-education’. But why is that phrase so disturbing? After all, education is a good thing, no? So surely more of it is even better?

read more...

Alice in Reality

20 March 2019

I have always loved ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Of all children’s stories, its anarchic, upside-down, crazy, unimaginable world for some reason appeals to me, if only as a salutary contrast to reality. But when that world seems to become reality, then I’m not so sure about it. Yet that seems to be where we are in the United Kingdom right now. We seem to be down the rabbit hole, in the crazy world, but - unlike Alice - we can neither wake up nor climb back up to reality on the surface. Our reality is what is down the rabbit hole or through the looking glass.

read more...

The Real Cost of Storing Electricity

13 March 2019

When, last week, I wrote that the biggest challenge in the wider adoption of electric vehicles was the extension of the charging network, I was guilty of only addressing the first world problem. For us, indeed, that is the case. However, there is another issue, one which goes to the heart of the matter, and is qualitatively of a far different order, and one which affects not only EVs but also all the other electrical and electronic devices we now take for granted - phones, laptops, tablets: everything that uses batteries to store electricity.

read more...

Some EV and Battery Thoughts

06 March 2019

Pretty much any kind of governmental initiative designed to encourage a particular behaviour is likely to breed attempts to misuse it for financial benefit; I don’t think that’s an especially controversial statement. So in the case of the subsidy in the purchase price of electric vehicles and the zero road fund tax - sorry, vehicle excise duty now - on them, it’s hardly a surprise to read a report about fleet operating practices that seem to have appeared.

read more...