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Unformatted text preview: utside the cartel also benefit at no cost to themselves?
Already, De Beers has made thinly veiled threats that, should the rebels continue to ride for free, the company would have
to rethink the way it advertises diamonds altogether. Branding its own diamonds —"the De Beers diamond ring", say—
would be one option.
But do not underestimate the diamond kings of Kimberley. They have withstood turbulence before, not le ast in South
Africa this century, from the Boer war to anti-apartheid sanctions. Each time their downfall has been predicted, the
masters of control have emerged as strong as ever. Few competitors have picked a fight with the mighty De Beers and
won. The company has even managed to slip out of reach of the American trust-busters. Cartels are illegal in America.
But, thanks partly to a cleverly disguised international maze of company registrations, and to diamond dealers’ frightened
reluctance to testify, the Americans have never successfully pursued a serious antitrust case against De Beers. The threat
is enough to keep the company, and its barons, out of that country; but it is not enough to dent their global empire.
Vanity, greed, envy, desire, even love: the diamond barons could scarcely appeal to more common human instinc...
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- Fall '14
- The Land