Buy Stock in the Somalian Pirate Exchange!


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Somalian Stock Exchange

Those following the pirate lairs of Somalia have long known that the assailants who hijack ships and terrorize the seas are more organized than they appear (Credit here goes to FP contributor and pirate watcher J. Peter Pham). Far from the sailboat-driving kids they might look like, the pirates are serious business. And business is exactly what they're into.

The business of 'stocks,' to be precise. Reuters reports that the pirates have set up an exchange in Haradheere, the main port used by the buccaneers, where shares are traded in a whopping 72 pirate outfits. The profits have so far bought countless SUVs, other luxury goodies, and even a slice of revenue for the local government programs. Says the pirate interviewed for the piece:

"The shares are open to all and everybody can take part, whether personally at sea or on land by providing cash, weapons or useful materials ... we've made piracy a community activity."

Well no wonder piracy won't go away. Given the options (poverty, militancy, theft), who wouldn't become a pirate? Besides, one wouldn't want to disappoint the shareholders.

When pirates have the financial means to set up their own stock exchange, that might be an indication that they are getting WAY too big and powerful. There is an easy fix to the pirate problem, but of course, most people who hold an elected office are too foolish and chicken-sh** to take any real action to address the problem.

1. Lift restrictions on private and commercial ships so they can properly arm and defend themselves.
2. Issue Letters of Marque

If you've never heard of Letters of Marque, I suggest a Google search. They were pretty effective even up to the 19th century.

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