CORPORATIONS: A Bothersome Billion

Not since the '30s has the copper industry endured such deeply depressing times. Largely because of reckless overproduction of the red metal in some strapped Third World countries, notably Chile, Peru, Zambia and Zaire, worldwide supply exceeds demand by the biggest margin ever. Copper prices, which were as high as $1.52 per lb. on the London Metal Exchange in 1974, have collapsed to 56¢ in London and 65¢ in the U.S.—well below production costs at some mines. In these circumstances, U.S. firms were not all that upset three weeks ago when 40,000...

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