This article describes the development of the moral economy of merit among the fishermen and rural poor of Dalai Village, Magtaal soum, Mongolia. In 1971, the historian E. P. Thompson used the term “moral economy” to describe a popular consensus on what was considered right and wrong in economic behavior, arguing that its provocation motivated the eighteenth-century English poor to engage in crowd-based political action. In contemporary, post-socialist eastern Mongolia, the rural poor have constructed a pervasive local discourse on what is considered legitimate (“merit-making” or buyantai) versus what is illegitimate in economic behavior that morally-condones their illegal wildlife procurement, selling, and smuggling activities. The political contexts of these case studies are compared in order to detail a similar political-economic progression: (1) the recent market liberalization of the commons, sparking moral outrage amongst those classes newly disadvantaged through this shift to the market; and (2) the formation of an anti-profiteering moral discourse among these classes, designed to limit the ability of others to economically capitalize off of these circumstances. Comparing the case studies, the moral economy is manifested as exchange practices involving commons-marked goods that distribute their benefits among the participants, envisioned as thereby promoting group wellbeing rather than the uneven accumulation by individuals.