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Welcome to Lord Copper

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

Whose Problem?

13 January 2021

As a Christmas present, somebody gave me a book called “Flash Crash”, by Liam Vaughan. It’s the story of Navinder Singh Sarao, the man accused - and indeed convicted - of being responsible for the equity market flash crash of May 2010. It’s engaging, well-written and reads a lot of the time as a financial thriller, a genre that particularly appeals to me. Whether it is the full story or not, I have no way of knowing, but it runs through Sarao’s career from debutant trading arcade neophyte to arch-manipulator and convicted criminal (turned prosecution witness).

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Clogs to clogs in three generations

06 January 2021

There is no doubt we have been passing through (and are by no means out of) the worst recession since 1930. That is a gap of about 90 years. But allowing for some disturbance of the cycles by the Second World War, that is not a million miles from the interval of some 75 years covered by the famous quote “Clogs to clogs in three generations”.

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Three Horsemen on the Horizon?

30 December 2020

There is no certain consensus among ecclesiasticals and biblical historians as to the identity of John of Patmos; some suggest John the Evangelist, others John the Presbyter, others yet a different first century scribe. What is more generally accepted is that he was the author of the Book of Revelation, that strange, apocalyptic text that forms the last Book of the Bible.

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Christmas Danse Macabre

23 December 2020

How did we get here? A year ago, it all looked so rosy in the garden. The threat of the intellectually limited old marxist and his coterie of very nasty hard left ideologues had been seen off; the seemingly endless euro-debate was finally going to be put to bed (and I maintain that whatever one’s original view of the issue, a final resolution is in everyone’s interest); and we had an ebullient, positive figure heading the government.

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Interesting Times - or: when will it end?

16 December 2020

As the debate over whether or not we are experiencing the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, albeit forced on us by the Covid pandemic, goes on, my thoughts turned to the pros and cons of open outcry trading and the value of office trading floors. Are they now superseded by AI, Teams, Zoom and all the electronic devices that have boomed in the last nine months?

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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.

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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.

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