Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Somalian development

We here at TPS know some anarchists; some of us may even subscribe to the theory themselves. Nonetheless, when you know anarchists, anything concerning Somalia becomes interesting. Here's is CNN's offering for the day.

The piracy we keep hearing about is undoubtedly bad; the losses grow beyond tankers, as companies are hesitant to invest in uncertainty. But given the influx of money into Somalia-- substitute wealthy foreigners looking to get away, if it's easier to imagine-- look at the markets that have arisen absent a central government.

"Businessmen started gathering cigarettes, food and cold glass bottles of orange soda, setting up small kiosks for the pirates who come to shore to re-supply almost daily."

"Meanwhile, towns that once were eroded by years of poverty and chaos are now bustling with restaurants, Land Cruisers and Internet cafes. Residents also use their gains to buy generators -- allowing full days of electricity, once an unimaginable luxury in Somalia."

"The attackers generally treat their hostages well in anticipation of a big payday, hiring caterers on shore to cook spaghetti, grilled fish and roasted meat that will appeal to a Western palate. They also keep a steady supply of cigarettes and drinks from the shops on shore."

"'Getting this equipment is easy for us, we have business connections with people in Dubai, Nairobi, Djibouti and other areas,' Yusuf said. 'So we send them money and they send us what we want.'"

Credit markets are even well-functioning:

"Dahir said she is so confident in the pirates, she instituted a layaway plan just for them. 'They always take things without paying and we put them into the book of debts,' she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. 'Later, when they get the ransom money, they pay us a lot.'"

There's no government like no government!