black market

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black market,

the selling or buying of commodities at prices above the legal ceiling or beyond the amount allotted to a customer in countries that have placed restrictions on sales and prices. Such trading was common during World War II wherever the demand and the means of payment exceeded the available supply. Most of the warring countries attempted to equalize distribution of scarce commodities by rationing and price fixing. In the United States black-market transactions were carried on extensively in meat, sugar, tires, and gasoline. In Great Britain, where clothing and liquor were rationed, these were popular black-market commodities. In the United States, rationing terminated at the end of the war, but a black market in automobiles and building materials continued while the scarcity lasted. In the decades following World War II, as the countries of Eastern Europe were trying to industrialize their economies, extensive black-market operations developed because of a scarcity of consumer goods. Black marketing is also common in exchange of foreign for domestic currency, typically in those countries that have set the official exchange value of domestic currency too high in terms of the purchasing power of foreign money. Black-market money activities also grow when holders of domestic currency are anxious to convert it into foreign currency through a fear that the former is losing its purchasing power as a result of inflation. See also bootleggingbootlegging,
in the United States, the illegal distribution or production of liquor and other highly taxed goods. First practiced when liquor taxes were high, bootlegging was instrumental in defeating early attempts to regulate the liquor business by taxation.
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See W. Rundell, Black Market Money (1964).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

black market

a. any system in which goods or currencies are sold and bought illegally, esp in violation of controls or rationing
b. (as modifier): black market lamb
2. the place where such a system operates
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Haggling with Russian black marketeers, I picked up one valuable lesson from these Winter Olympics.
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The move is intended to check illicit financial flows and counterfeits and clean-up Kenya's nascent capitalist market.GROWTH MONEYPerhaps, CBK should have also considered phasing out 30.8 million pieces of Ksh500 banknotes and 54.8 million pieces of Ksh200, plausibly the next most likely dens of black marketeers.
RAWALPINDI -- In a bid to ensure availability of sugar and control its price, the provincial government has decided to launch a crackdown on hoarders and black marketeers and directed the police to provide assistance to the departments concerned.
The chief minister directed the district administration to come hard on profiteers and black marketeers in a bid to stop them from fleecing people through self-created price hike.
Black marketeers took advantage of the situation and of the most vulnerable.