Competition is for Losers

winner-takes-allHere is an eye-opening piece on cartels and their influence on society.

A few notes:

  • Cartels look like everything but mega-villains.
  • For instance, doctors act as a cartel when US universities have a cap on the number of residency slots. US doctors are paid twice as much as European doctors as a result.
  • Laws preventing new constructions favor existing landlords. Their economic and societal costs are large – many can’t afford the rent for a higher-paying job in a more expensive town.
  • Universities have an accreditation system, which prevents new forms of education.
  • The NCAA prevents students from being paid, while universities are cashing in.
  • Taxi medallions maintained high transportation costs, until Uber came in.


  • The biggest risk of an effective cartel is member discontent.
  • The most efficient cartels are perfectly legal. They put forward public interest and product integrity issues to recruit governments.
  • Cartels use non-profits and public relations very effectively.
  • Big Tech is not the biggest threat.
  • There are many active cartels right under our eyes.








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Written by Gontran de Quillacq

Gontran de Quillacq is an expert witness and a legal consultant. He is a recognized authority in options, trading, derivatives, structured products, portfolio management, hedge funds, mathematical finance, quantitative investment, strategy research and financial markets in general.


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