HOUSING: Why Markets Get Grey

The Joint Congressional Committee on Housing had padded from coast to coast, sniffing for the scent of a grey market in building materials. All over the country, Wisconsin's Senator Joe McCarthy, vice chairman of the pack, had picked up signs of one Isadore Ginsberg of New York City, who was plying a brisk and highly profitable trade in gypsum lath. McCarthy was outraged at Ginsberg's prices. (He was getting $52.50 per 1,000 sq. ft. for lath selling for about $40 in lumber yards.) Furthermore, McCarthy charged, Ginsberg moved fast enough to buy up large quantities of lath, presumably kept...

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