A structural problem the London Metal Exchange can fix: Andy Home

BY ANDY HOME Reuters – Some problems you can’t fix yourself. The London Metal Exchange (LME) today finds itself operating in “business continuity” mode with open-outcry ring trading migrating east of London to the disaster recovery site in Chelmsford. That’s because of “a structural issue” within the Exchange’s new home in Finsbury Square. The building remains out of bounds until at least Wednesday, July 20 as “the landlord, building manager, structural engineer and other relevant parties (work) to establish the extent of the issue, its implications and resolution.” Other structural issues, however, you can do something about. The cost of storage in the LME’s warehouse network has been a bone of contention for as long as anyone can remember. It has historically been viewed much in the same way as the problem with the building at 10, Finsbury Square, a structural issue over which the Exchange itself had little control. With no powers to stop a long-running upward spiral in rental and load-out charges, the LME was fearful of the legal consequences of trying to give itself such powers. The default policy for the last two decades has, therefore, been to do nothing other than try and cajole warehouse operators

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