The world’s largest minerals trading conglomerate now appears to be placing a lot of  faith in big – if not bad – bankers to lift its recent lacklustre performance; not to mention some fiscal and reputational threats ahead. Although the now-combined Glencore-Xstrata has still to appoint a new chairman, it’s just recruited John Mack, former head of Morgan Stanley, as an independent director to the board. “Mack the knife”  is joined as an executive director by another banker, Peter Grauer, and Peter Coates, a ‘veteran of the commondities group’. Grauer does not come with that golden a pedigree: one of his earlier investment firms went bust. However, Mr Coates carries with him some kudos of a distinctly  different coin. He’s chairman of Bloomberg News Service which boasts some of the most consistent analysis and in-depth reporting of mining trends across the world. No conflict of interest there then! [Comment by Nostromo Research]