November 15, 2005


City gripped by mystery of the phantom copper dealer: A Chinese trader gambled millions on behalf of his government. Now he has disappeared (Carl Mortished, 11/15/05, Times of London)

The Chinese State Reserve Bureau (SRB), where Mr Liu worked, denied any knowledge of him yesterday. Wang Huimin, a director, said: “I’ve never heard of this person. Neither have I heard about the SRB selling short in London. I’m not clear if he is our staff. The SRB has no traders.” Fellow traders at the London exchange’s headquarters, where Mr Liu was well known, were wondering whether they had been dealing with a rogue trader or a phantom dealer.

“I have met him. He is not fictitious,” Robin Bhar, a leading base metals analyst at UBS, the investment bank, said.

Last night the SRB told the Reuters news agency that Mr Liu was on leave and that it had no knowledge of his dealing.

“The shorts [deals] done by him are his, not ours,” said an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We have no evidence about the shorts. When he comes back, we may want him to clarify it.”

So you moved all your money out of oil, then out of the euro and now the Chicoms are going to try welching on a $1 billion bet? And you wonder why America can't run up a high enough debt to satisfy investors?

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 15, 2005 8:23 AM

Billion, not trillion, but still doesn't change your point.

Posted by: mike at November 15, 2005 9:17 AM

Is Warren Buffett involved?

Posted by: ratbert at November 15, 2005 9:52 AM