If you ever go to visit London, you should pencil in a visit to the LME – the almost 400 year old London Metal Exchange – which trades commodities such as lead, copper and zinc. It’s one of the last exchanges that trades in the open outcry way. It involves shouting and the use of hand signals to transfer information primarily about buy and sell orders.
The most exciting time to visit is between 4.30-5.00pm to watch the ring trading. The traders were pretty calm when lead and zinc trading ceased for the day at about 4.40pm. But they went crazy at around 4.50 pm when copper and aluminum ceased trading – screaming at each other, gesticulating wildly, throwing hand signals – all while telephoning at the same time, handling up to 3 receivers in their hand to communicate buy and sell orders.
I only spotted 3 females in this male dominated world of traders – the Darwin theory certainly must apply to be able to work as a ring trader –plus you must have nerves of steel – I’d get a heart attack in there after working for only two hours!
The famous symbol of the financial district of London: The “Gherkin” – home of Swiss Re, designed by Norman Foster in 2000.
The Deutsche Bank entrance hall in London – Most large banks have chosen London as their place of business.
The City of London is centre of the financial services and the powerhouse of the British economy. It’s is a free economy (as opposed to the social market economies of Europe (Germany and France)) with a deregulated financial sector which allowed its rapid growth before the 2008 crisis.
A visit to the LME is certainly a great experience allowing a peak view inside the biggest financial centre of the world!