Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Somali sea gangs lure investors at pirate lair" and "A comparison of Piracy and Private Equity"

From Reuters:
In Somalia's main pirate lair of Haradheere, the sea gangs have set up a cooperative to fund their hijackings offshore, a sort of stock exchange meets criminal syndicate.

Heavily armed pirates from the lawless Horn of Africa nation have terrorized shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and strategic Gulf of Aden, which links Europe to Asia through the Red Sea.

The gangs have made tens of millions of dollars from ransoms and a deployment by foreign navies in the area has only appeared to drive the attackers to hunt further from shore.

It is a lucrative business that has drawn financiers from the Somali diaspora and other nations -- and now the gangs in Haradheere have set up an exchange to manage their investments.

One wealthy former pirate named Mohammed took Reuters around the small facility and said it had proved to be an important way for the pirates to win support from the local community for their operations, despite the dangers involved.

"Four months ago, during the monsoon rains, we decided to set up this stock exchange. We started with 15 'maritime companies' and now we are hosting 72. Ten of them have so far been successful at hijacking," Mohammed said....MORE

HT: DealBreaker

A post from Nov. '08:

Arrgh: 'Pirates Not a Good Long Term Bet'

The WSJ's Deal Journal has a comparison of Piracy and Private Equity:
...Geographical investment thesis

Private equity: Bullish on China.

Piracy: Opportunities on the coast of Africa.

Start-up costs

Piracy: Gun, boats, a handful of men, rocket-propelled grenades.

Private equity: Office on Park Avenue.


Private equity: “Internal rate of return,” called IRR.

Piracy: Eerily similar: “Aaar.”>>>MUCH MORE

And from July '07:

UN Warns Piracy Threatens Somalia Lifeline

The heads of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and World Food Programme (WFP) said they want the UN Security Council to ask Somalia to allow foreign warships to move against pirates in its waters.
From TerraDaily

Two things.
1) I didn't know a Navy had to ask permission to kill a pirate. You really can learn something new every day.

2) The New Yorker story,
The Pirates’ Code, has a link to a recent paper by economist Peter Leeson called "An-arrgh-chy: The Law and Economics of Pirate Organization":

“Nature, we see, teaches the most Illiterate the necessary Prudence for their Preservation . . . these Men whom we term, and not without Reason, the Scandal of human Nature, who were abandoned to all Vice, and lived by Rapine; when they judged it for their Interest . . . were strictly just . . . among themselves . . .”

—Captain Charles Johnson (1726-1728: 527)

Captain Johnson was not describing a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership....
Oil: Somali Pirates Seize Supertanker, Smoke the Khat, Head for Home

Indian navy destroys 'pirate ship'

Obama Reaches Out to 'Moderate' Pirate Community (and we plan to make a buck-o, or two)
"Avast, there!" Pirates and Global Warming
..." You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature."