black market


black market
1. the illicit buying and selling of goods in violation of legal price controls, rationing, etc.
2. a place where such activity is carried on.
[1930-35]

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Trading in violation of publicly imposed regulations such as rationing laws, laws against the sale of certain goods, and official rates of exchange among currencies.

Black-market activity is common in wartime, when scarce goods and services are often strictly rationed (see rationing). Black-market foreign-exchange transactions flourish in countries where convertible foreign currency is scarce and foreign exchange is tightly controlled.

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 trading in violation of publicly imposed regulations such as rationing laws, laws against certain goods, and official rates of exchange among currencies. Rationing is common in wartime in order to equalize the distribution of scarce goods and services; black-market activity may consist of charging more than the legal prices, stealing or counterfeiting ration currency, and making side payments in addition to the official rate to obtain a given amount of merchandise.

      Black-market activity in foreign exchange is prevalent in countries in which convertible foreign exchange is scarce and strict control of foreign exchange exists. The black market often sets a price for foreign exchange that is several times the official one. Examples of goods traded in the black market are weapons, illegal drugs, exotic and protected species of animals, and human organs needed for transplant surgeries.

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Universalium. 2010.

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