ajaz_eco_204_2012_2013_chapter_16_Market_Power

Their grip on supply moreover is not altogether

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Unformatted text preview: for as long as the CSO has existed, outsiders have been predicting its demise. One day, they say, whatever the conviction of Mr Oppenheimer and his missionaries, the bubble must burst, and the fanciful hallucination will come to a sober end. Will the diamond then become common? Forever, for now Certainly, these are turbulent times for the diamond barons. Thanks to their economic troubles, the hard -up Japanese, who currently buy a hefty quarter of the world’s diamond jewellery, are buying fewer diamonds than they used to. Sales in Japan could fall by a fifth in 1997 compared with last year. Other Asians, who buy about 18% of the total, will probably also hold back. Already, Japan’s sluggish market pushed down the world’s total diamond-jewellery sales to $52 billion in 1996, a bit below the level of 1995. However cunning the De Beers marketing people may be, they are peddling —indeed have in part created—a luxury good that gets struck from the shopping list when times are tough. Their grip on supply, moreover, is not altogethe...
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