The changes and challenges are pressing in on LME brokers.
I don’t for a moment suggest that they are not fully up to the task of absorbing and reacting positively to what is happening all around them, but what with the slide in commissions, higher trading and clearing costs, and greater regulation, the last thing they need is another threat to stability emerging out of the gloom.
But I think that’s just what the LME itself has quietly chosen to throw at them.
Traditionally, a large part of the communication of the business of the LME with its end-users has been transmitted via the brokers – the inner circle of membership, as it were.
At the same time, the exchange has always conducted a direct dialogue with users -– mining houses, smelters, funds and so on – but this has largely been a relatively discreet communication, basically conducted through the...