The London Metal Exchange (LME) is a defendant in the lawsuits accusing Goldman, JPMorgan and Glencore Xstrata of rigging the aluminium market and violating anti-trust laws. In the mid-1990s the LME was embroiled in a criminal investigation after the discovery that a trader – nicknamed Mr 5 Percent for the share of the world’s copper he reputedly controlled – had spent years manipulating its systems to hoard copper and boost the price.
The LME, which was sold last year by its member owners to the operator of the Hong Kong stock exchange, is a defendant in the lawsuits accusing Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Glencore-Xstrata of rigging the aluminium market and violating anti-trust laws. The lawsuits accuse the banks and traders of stockpiling metal in warehouses, delivering it out at the minimum pace and driving up the prices of industrial products from soft-drink cans to aircraft. Plaintiffs argue the LME abetted the scheme by writing rules that made it possible and ignoring calls to change. The LME says its rules were made independently.