cornering the market - Investment & Finance Definition
Purchasing a stock or commodity in such a significant amount that trading in that item is no longer competitive. Cornering the market is illegal. One of the most notorious instances of cornering the market was the attempt by Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt to corner the silver market in the 1970s. They bought silver throughout the 1970s as a hedge against inflation, and by 1980 they, along with some Arab investors, were estimated to hold anywhere from one-third to one-half of the world’s supply of silver. In 1973, the price of silver was $1.95 an ounce; by the early 1980s, it had shot up to $54. The Hunt brothers ended up suffering substantial losses due to rules changes enacted by Comex, which is the New York futures market where silver was traded, and the intervention of the Federal Reserve.