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).

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Over several days here, I was pretty good at spotting the basic black marketeer offering tickets from "a friend" who "wasn't able to make it.
While fixing up the tryst with our destiny, Nehru, the builder of this midnight country, had also offered to erect a few lamp posts across the countryside - not to get us electricity but to hang the corrupt, the black marketeer and the hawala trader on".
The rise of the black marketeers has mirrored the decline of Gaza's traditional business elite.
The Soviet zone was left at the mercy of the many black marketeers, who would have tried to offload their money there, where it was still legal.
For the Germans themselves, schooled in rationing by a dictatorship which was prepared to execute black marketeers, the end of the war was marked by an epidemic of theft and looting as bakeries, wine cellars and military depots were plundered.
Black marketeers are in the region attempting to persuade people, particularly the old and vulnerable, to sell their supplies of wheat.
Such was the demand from gardeners we could, like apprentice Black Marketeers, name our price.
But while the black marketeers make a killing, many 'Phonics fans were left ticketless for the Cwmaman band's performance at Cardiff International Arena on November 18, which sold out almost immediately.
He said: "I want to defend consumers' rights to shop around in the single market, but not at the expense of boosting bootleggers and black marketeers competing unfairly with local retailers.
They pointed out the raw deal the Yanks were getting, netting about $15 a pay fighting the war while men deemed unqualified for military service, black marketeers, and war workers were making a fortune safe and comfortable back home--and seducing your girlfriend on the side.
An additional 3,000 to 4,000 Poles, consisting of criminals, extortionists, and black marketeers, created a precarious daily existence for the hidden Jews, because of the possibility that they could expose them as well as their Gentile protectors.
Some of the phones never arrived at all--most likely pirated by black marketeers adept at fencing Western technology.