Saturday, July 23, 2011

Markets in Everything: Vessel Repossession

"Max Hardberger (pictured above) is a 62-year-old adventurer from Louisiana who specialises in stealing back ships that have been fraudulently seized in corrupt ports, mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

He describes himself as a 'vessel repossession specialist’, a kind of maritime repo man who ghosts into tropical hellhole ports, outwits the guards and authorities, and ghosts out again with a 5,000- or 10,000-ton cargo ship, usually under cover of darkness and preferably during a heavy rainstorm.

For his clients he is a godsend, well worth the $100,000-plus that he charges to retrieve a ship. To foreign port authorities, judges, coastguards, naval commanders and government officials, he is a flagrant and notorious law-breaker, and if they ever manage to catch him at it, he can expect a long sentence in a vile prison." 

7 Comments:

At 7/23/2011 12:24 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

'Once a ship has gone through a judicial sale, the new owner is legitimate. In a place like Miragoâne you can seize a $2 million ship by giving $2,000 to a justice of the peace who lives in a hut, has no legal training and can barely read or write.’

Property rights based on corruption seem to be the norm in Haiti. Is it any wonder this country never evolves from impoverishment?

This was a very good article on a very interesting individual. Thanks Professor.

 
At 7/23/2011 12:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

$100,000 doesn't seem like enough to cover the risk of living the rest of your short, miserable life in a sewer.

 
At 7/23/2011 4:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Adams said...

This has got the be the coolest job in the world.

 
At 7/23/2011 7:39 PM, Blogger Michael E. Marotta said...

"Hardberger repossesses aeroplanes as well as ships. He works as a maritime lawyer, a ship surveyor, an insurance adjuster, a pilot and flight instructor, a stuntman for films and television, a blues drummer in New Orleans bars, and a scattershot business entrepreneur. He has also written three books; the latest is a hard-boiled memoir called Seized: A Sea Captain’s Adventures Battling Pirates & Recovering Stolen Ships in the World’s Most Troubled Waters."

A man after my own heart. I had the pleasure of meeting Austin Bay: (colonel, US Army, retired and Ph.D. adjunct professor at UT Austin, and ... and ... and ... A thousand years ago, I read a couple of biographies about Robert Heinlein who was the same kind of person. He said that evolution rewards and punished niches and that the survivors always seem to be generalists. Funny thing, though, is that markets reward specialists. Pick a narrow niche and you can set your price... until things change...

 
At 7/23/2011 7:51 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"This has got the be the coolest job in the world"...

Until you get caught or shot...

 
At 7/24/2011 7:05 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

William Buckley gives a good account of stealing his yacht from a corrupt Marina in south Carolina to avoid paying an inflated bill. The yard was notorious even before Buckley's account, and he wasn't the fort to pirate a boat out of that extortion pit.

 
At 7/27/2011 4:34 AM, Blogger Yeah said...

lol what a badass

 

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