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Market Manipulation

Crisis doesn’t build character, it reveals it.

Amidst reports of market manipulation, hoarding, and price gouging, the United States has opted to launch a task force in order to crack down on these crimes. This is especially important due to the fact that people are being forced to endure difficult times because of orders to stay at home, and that a lot of businesses are going to be temporarily shut down.

A stagnation in productivity as well as the increase in unemployment rates is bound to cause a lot of anxiety to people and the last thing they need are the inconsiderate few who hoard products, manipulate the market, and impose abusive prices on critical products like rubbing alcohol, face masks, and other personal protective equipment.

Each of these crimes will be defined below so that readers will have a good idea of what to look out for and what to report in order to help the authorities nab violators.

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Market manipulation refers to the act of artificially inflating or deflating the price of a security and also by influencing the market for personal gain.

Hoarding refers to the practice of purchasing large quantities of a commodity (more than what is necessary for immediate use) with the intention of benefiting the hoarder from a future price increase. This also causes the price of the hoarded commodity to increase. For example, because alcohol and disinfectants have been cited as critical items in combating the COVID-19 virus, many wealthy individuals sought to hoard these essential commodities in order to sell them at extortionate prices, which then leads us to the next point of discussion.

Price Gouging

Price gouging is also known as price fixing. It is the act of setting the price of a certain product or service instead of allowing it to be determined by free-market forces such as supply and demand. An example of this is when a seller, knowing full well that a certain commodity is in high demand, decides to price the product much higher than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. This puts an unnecessary burden on the market in that it severely restricts goods that should be readily available to the vast majority of buyers.

Market Manipulation

Market manipulation refers to the act of artificially inflating or deflating the price of a security and also by influencing the market for personal gain. This is especially dangerous because traders with bad intentions can easily make their move amidst the spike in market volatility caused by CoronaVirus concerns. It’s during situations like this that we need seasoned forensic economists like the ones from to keep track of market conditions, especially when market manipulation is difficult to catch, but not impossible.

As we all probably know by now, the danger that the CoronaVirus poses goes beyond its immediate threat to the people who are highly-susceptible to the virus. The economic impact of the pandemic may not be immediately felt, but make no mistake, it’s a problem we all need to prepare for. It’s times like this that we could really use a bit of vigilance. There are people who intend to capitalize on the pandemic in order to benefit from it at the expense of others. We shouldn’t simply let them get away with it.