Futures trading and First Class travel

I went to an excellent half-day course at the LME (London Metal Exchange) on plastics futures contracts. Held in an oak-panelled room overlooking the trading pit, it wasn’t just for beginners – major PS producer Pierre and his team were there. Also other plastics fabricators, traders and bankers.

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ICIS was favourably mentioned in a number of slides so that was good. I came out feeling completely on top of the subject and would recommend it to anyone interested in polymers futures. The highlight of the morning was when loud shouting indicated that the open outcry trading had started in the pit below at 11.45. The noise level was like being next door to a football match.

A few days later I bumped into my newfound friend Thom from the LME as we waited in the Houston airport lounge for the longhaul overnight flight back to the UK. He had been taking the LME Workshop on a global roadshow and was very pleased with himself because he had been plucked from obscurity at check-in and upgraded to First Class for the long flight home. Is there anything more socially divisive than the random distribution of First Class upgrades? Next morning, as we waited in the cold light of the London Gatwick baggage reclaim hall, he said he was suffering the mother of all hangovers. Win some, lose some..

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