NEW YORK -- The priciest piece of aluminum in NYC, a taxi medallion to operate a single cab (pictured above - you'll see them on the hood of every NYC taxi), just sold for as high as $385,000 when the Taxi and Limousine Commission staff unsealed 155 bids yesterday. The lowest winning bid was $277,777, and the average bid was $309,000.
Here is the press release from the NYC Taxi Cartel, aka as the Taxi and Limousine Commission:
According to the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, the official name of the NYC Taxi Cartel: "In 1937, the number of taxicab medallions was limited to 11,787. Today there are currently 13,087 yellow medallion taxicabs operating in New York City. A new medallion is a rare opportunity."
Yes, a rare opportunity to join a cartel with significant barriers to entry. And cartel membership does have its privileges, including above-market rates of return.
According to the president of Medallion Financial Corporation, the leading lender to the industry, "Taxi medallions have been one of, if not the single best investment to own over the years. While the Dow has gone up 8% per year over the last 50 years, taxi medallions have gone up almost double that, 14% per year. They have outperformed every major index including real estate, gold and other stock indexes." (HT: Ben Cunningham)