Today’s Note discusses a story on copper. Apparently China is stockpiling copper.

Copper? Really? As I read this, I had to wonder, “What are they going to do with it…make 50 billion pennies?” (I have no idea if China uses a copper coin, although if they do I’m sure they don’t call it a penny.)

Fortunately, Gordon Chang, author of the article, “China Is Hoarding Copper. Why?,” can explain.

So why are Chinese enterprises buying copper like there’s no tomorrow?  Some maintain Beijing sees shortages of the metal while others think the Chinese are just trying to take advantage of recent price declines.  Then there are those who believe that central bank officials are tired of holding U.S. government paper and would like to get their hands on hard assets.

Yet there is another reason, this one buried in the January trade numbers released Friday by the…

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