Business & Finance: World Code

For half a century the copper industry has been notoriously unsuccessful in keeping order in its own house by world agreements. Once in the 1880's coppermen tried to break the cycle of overproduction, price declines and ruin with a cartel called the Secretan Syndicate. It failed. Next they tried hiding copper in mud warehouses in China to raise the price by reducing the visible supply. This, too, failed. Nine years ago they formed Copper Exporters, Inc. to peg the world price around 18¢ a Ib. That cartel broke up in 1932 when African coppermen...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!