Monday, August 9, 2010

The Economics of Modern Piracy

Very interesting and detailed piece here on the economics of modern piracy. In the Golden Age, pirates would try to capture ships carrying valuable cargo so that they could actually sell the cargo. Now, if they take a tanker with $100M to $150M of oil, they know it's going to be too hard to actually sell the petrol, so they ransom it instead. Eventually, a third-party arranges to have a few million dollars dropped onto the boat via helicopter. The pirates take the money and flee, the owner gets his ship back, the oil company gets its petrol back, and the insurance company reimburses the client for the ransom.

The total amount of ransoms paid last year was reportedly around $50M.

More Reviews of Fish

"Brimming with suspense, humor, colorful characters, and a good old-fashioned pirate story on the high seas, this fast-paced novel is pure enjoyment."

- Kendal Rautzhan, The Day

"His gift for swimming and dislike of violence make him a very odd pirate and treasure hunter, but somehow Fish makes it work. Full of action-packed scenes of Fish's "not-fighting" and vivid descriptions of exactly how bad his fellow pirates smell, "Fish" is a feel-good yarn perfect for reading as the waves lap nearby."

-Caroline Luzzatto, The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star

And the Columbus Parent's "Books for Kids" list.