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Welcome to Lord Copper

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

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.

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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.

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Why are banks getting out of commodities?

07 October 2020

If there is one thing I learnt after 41 years of trading it is that it takes a very special kind of person to be a banker. I should mean that kindly, but I am afraid I don't. I had reason to develop my jaundiced point of view when I struggled to set up 27 years ago. No bank worth its salt wanted to see the commodity acorn that I was or recognise the fine little oak tree I hoped to become.

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Career Epitaph

30 September 2020

On the tombstone of a disturbing number of previously successful careers could be inscribed the epitaph “Why did you want to sell options?” It’s the question above all to which, during my career, I never really found a rational answer.

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It's a People's Business

16 September 2020

Most of us who have worked in the metals industry on the commercial side for any length of time have been privileged to do so and part of that privilege has been the opportunity to travel and meet an extraordinarily diverse number of people. More than that, it gave us the opportunity to develop relationships with those people thereby obtaining a deeper understanding of their business. As a friend of mine often said to me the metals business is a people’s business. He is right.

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A Breaking Wave

09 September 2020

Martin Hayes and I have both written on here before about the likelihood (or not) of the LME Ring ever returning to our lives. It’s now give or take six months since the Executive took the decision to (temporarily) halt open outcry trading, and as the coronavirus and its contagion stubbornly remain present, we would have to assume that it will still be some time before they start thinking seriously about a re-opening.

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Though every prospect pleases, and only man is vile

26 August 2020

In PG Wodehouse’s Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, Bertie Wooster is once again compelled (for reasons far too convoluted to go into here) to visit Totleigh Towers, stately home of Sir Watkyn Bassett, where he will need to be at his sharpest (a tough demand for Wooster) yet again to have to attempt to escape the Gussie Fink-Nottle/Madeline Bassett/Wooster marital merry-go-round.

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