Last 5 posts


Welcome to Lord Copper

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

Slaying Sacred Cows

24 February 2021

What are the most widely known distinctive features of the LME? That’s a pretty easy question - open outcry and the rolling prompt date system. What are the two features of the LME most difficult for outsiders to grasp? I think the answer’s probably the same - open outcry and the rolling prompt date system.


The Devil's Metal Stirs

17 February 2021

The short squeeze has become mainstream news since the Reddit retail investment community chat room found the hedge fund community wanting. Over confidence and over leverage did for Melvin Capital, who were then bailed out by another hedge fund, Citadel, to the tune of two and a half billion dollars, according to the media. This seems in a way a version of the Long-Term Capital Management fiasco in the late 90’s which required a much bigger bailout from Wall Street due to a combination of overconfidence, over leverage and the Asian and Russian financial crises. Suffice it to say, the common enemy in both cases was greed.


Don't Look Back!

10 February 2021

When future metals industry observers cast an eye on what took place in the 2020s, 2021 may well stand out as the year the LME family came to a fork in the road, and, although reluctantly in some instances, decisively opted to go forward in a comprehensively different direction.


Into the Ether?

03 February 2021

The LME’s proposals announced a couple of weeks ago bring up some intriguing possible scenarios for the future of metals trading in London.


The Death Knell

27 January 2021

In the ancient funeral rites of England, three bells are sounded. First, the Passing Bell, when age or sickness force the conclusion that death is very close. For the LME Ring, that was a while ago (and written here on 24th June - “The Passing Bell”). Next comes the Death Knell, which should be rung at the moment of death. If you stand quietly in the cold, covid-drenched winter air of the deserted City, I’m sure you will hear it sounding in an otherwise silent Finsbury Square.


End of the Ring? Peace with honour?

21 January 2021

Discussion papers have become the norm with the LME as a useful method of gauging the market’s thinking regarding potential changes, and whether to tailor after feedback or implement as proposed. Normally, such exercises take place without too much drama. It is safe to say, however, that the paper that the LME sent out during a routine Tuesday on the future market structure was not a ‘run of the mill’ thumbsucker. Indeed, it may herald the most radical and widespread change in metals market trading seen for decades.


What hope for minor metals?

20 January 2021

In 2000 minor metals people were in despair. I remember it well because I gave a talk at an MMTA conference on the then topical subject of 'Can minor metals traders survive?'