Last 5 posts


Welcome to Lord Copper

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

What's the value of paper?

29 July 2020

I have often wondered what money is and if anyone really knows. It seems to capture the imagination everywhere from a very young age, even where maths is poor and literacy low. Like grammar, money seems to be hardwired in the human brain.


Discovery and Use

22 July 2020

Lord Copper’s recent - as usual - thought-provoking piece on the place of LME price discovery in the scheme of things metal - or at least non-ferrous - brought all my 60–odd years’ experience of hanging around the metal markets into play.


Trading with Japan

15 July 2020

Looking back, it must have been down to the fact that I’d read ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ at a young and impressionable age, that led me to read Social Anthropology at the University of Kent. Little did I know this would later result in me taking my elective ‘year abroad’ on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, or that 10 years later I would be visiting one of Japan’s largest copper smelters, just 25km away from my old university campus, to buy rhenium.


What is the point of books?

08 July 2020

The year is 1991 and I am in Tallinn hunting for metal. The surprising and cataclysmic end of the Soviet Union is a shifting of the tectonic plates. From the point of view of a metal merchant, the sudden outflows of metal, once destined for the military, are a sort of prize.


Keeping Elephants off the Track

01 July 2020

It’s been three months now and by general agreement I have not written about the dreaded coronavirus.   As the wonderful physician Hans Rosling once began one of his lectures (look them up, they are brilliant) “I am now going to talk about statistics. Don’t leave! Statistics can be very interesting!” So I am going to talk about statistics. Don’t log out!


The Passing Bell

24 June 2020

We’ve written a couple of times here before about the closure and (potential) re-opening of the LME Ring, and speculated to an extent on whether or not it will happen.


All the good men this world's ever known

17 June 2020

“When all the stars are falling down, Into the sea and on the ground, And angry voices carry on the wind. A beam of light will fill your head And you’ll remember what’s been said By all the good men this world’s ever known.”