Somali pirate stock-market: "we've made piracy a community activity."

Somali nautical pirates have established a stock-market where guns and cash are invested in upcoming hijackings, with shares of the proceeds returned to investors:

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...

"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.

"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."

Somali sea gangs lure investors at pirate lair (via /.)

(Image: File:MV-Faina-Pirates.jpg, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)


    1. Looks like a sign of weakness to me. We may not be able to stop a bunch of scrawny teenagers in cheap boats; but we have the people, and the skills, to destabilize and suck dry a stock market…

  1. “Ben!, What’s the matter?”

    “I felt a great disturbance in The Force, as if millions of Libertarians suddenly cried out in ecstasy, came in their trousers and were suddenly sexually satisfied for their first time in their lives.”

  2. All they need is some laws to justify it, and soon the Somalians will have a thriving military-industrial complex, just like us! Awww…

  3. Viva l’Afrique!

    It’s nice to know that some members of impoverished countries have taken it upon themselves to provide for themselves in there time of need.

    I see nothing wrong here.

  4. Selling stock in piracy on the high seas eh? That’s how both the Dutch and British East India Companies got their start.

  5. “Who wouldn’t feel comfortable knowing that their investment is in the hands of pirates?”

    Who? Are you talking about the banks? We already feel… em… comfortable with them… more or less.

    Suitcases or AK-47, I don`t care… both are the same.

  6. I predict an enterprising young Somali will sell a pirating group faulty ammo and weapons, and then short sell them in the exchange prior to one of their excursions. Funny!

  7. I wonder if they would accept investment in return for a promise not to attack? That could be lucrative, and slightly more legal, even…

  8. I hear the grenade is trading at an all-time high against the dollar.

    I wonder if there’s any connection between this news story and the one about Goldman Sacks bankers getting firearms licenses. Could they be trying to get into a new market?

    1. (Obscure?)

      Not at all, the most recent episode even heavily featured Stan. Now that’s pirating I can get behind!

  9. For crying out loud, teach them about derivatives and credit default swaps, and we’ll have ended piracy by the next fiscal new year.

    Also, were you aware that the average pirate CEO makes 8,500 times what his lowest-paid pirate employee does?

  10. Wait till these guys figure out that they can just sit at a keyboard and sell maritime insurance and not bother suiting up and getting wet.

    1. Oh, that’s just the next step. After all, first you whack everyone on the street a little bit for that street cred, then you start asking for protection/insurance so you don’t have to work so hard at being a biter. Set up offices on floating platforms in the major sea routes and rake in the dough…

      Kind of along the lines of the Ankh-Morpork Thieve’s guild method, if you’ve paid your up-front ransom amount you present a ticket, and that frees them to leave you in peace and hunt down and forcibly inhumate anyone failing to present a proper Pirate’s Guild License…

  11. “Ransoms have even increased in recent months from between $2-3 million to $4 million because of the increased number of shareholders and the risks…”

    Ah, taking a page from the Goldman Sachs playbook. Such enterprising young capitalists!

  12. I think that they should branch out into Product Placement too. Think how much more your weapons would sell for if they had the Pirate Seal of Approval!

    This also makes me think that there’s a market for real Venture Capitalists to sell shares in revolutions and so forth, a la Richard Morgan’s books. Just think of the Super-Bowl Ads!

    – Close up of a handsome Latino cautiously poking his head up from a foxhole under fire.

    “Yes – the struggle is hard….”

    – Pulls out a shoulder launched missile with a Pepsi logo on it

    “..but with our Corporate Sponsors…”

    – Fires missile and incoming fire lessens

    “..Victory is assured!!”

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