the market works

this story shows that the market works. until the incentives change the piracy problem off of Somalia will continue and will likely get worse.

here is the introduction.

The rough fishermen of the so-called Somali coast guard are unrepentant criminals, yes, but they’re more than that. They’re innovators. Where earlier sea bandits were satisfied to make off with a dinghy full of booty, pirates who prowl northeast Africa’s Gulf of Aden hold captured ships for ransom. This strategy has been fabulously successful: The typical payoff today is 100 times what it was in 2005, and the number of attacks has skyrocketed.

fascinating article and video at the link.  how do you change the incentive structure?  the obvious answer to me is putting an armed guard with decent weapons on every merchant ship around there.  It would be cheaper than getting navies to patrol the whole area and probably just as effective in stopping a hijacking.

What do you think?

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