Imagine yourself having to move to a new city. You find that you are in need of another car (used), but aren’t very knowledgeable about the businesses, market conditions etc. in the new locale so you need to hire a car broker to assist you in finding a good deal on a car in advance of your arrival. You’re no dummy, but the reality is that you are short on time, and you need the broker to provide you with information necessary to make an informed decision. You’re fairly confident the broker will look out for your interests given that he has held himself out as the most “trusted broker in town”, providing information on cars “you can trust.”

In the weeks leading up to your arrival, the broker has provided you with a fair bit of negative information about all but one of the dealerships in town, such that the remaining dealership (Quagmire Auto) appears to be the smart choice.

Two days before arriving in the new town to your newly acquired automobile, you have some down time and are surfing the net and you happen to find negative information about these “bad dealerships”. You gain a feeling of comfort knowing that your broker has served you well. But after surfing a bit more you notice that there’s also some positive information about those bad dealerships – information your broker had declined to give you. Worse yet, you find negative information on the “smart choice” which the broker also neglected to tell you about.

You start digging a little deeper and you learn that this broker and all of his employees (well almost all – 24 out of 25) belonged to the same local club as the proprietors and employees of Quagmire Auto.

Dejected, you realize you were taken for a ride.

Looking on the bright side, you tell yourself “well it was only a used car, it’s not as if it’s an issue of national security.”

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