I have a friend who is a player in the shipping industry. He happens to
be Greek. I got an update from him on two important stories. First a
thought on a Greek restructuring:
In this man’s opinion the announcement for a Greek restructuring is imminent. Like in the next two weeks. Does this fellow actually know the timing? No, but trust me, they guy is connected. Something is about to break in Greek sovereign debt. Now Pirates:
Back on 2/11 I reported that a Greek flagged super tanker containing 1mm barrels of crude was hijacked by the Somali Pirates. The boat was released by the pirates recently. The ransom paid was $13,500,000. It was paid in cash. Used hundred dollar bills.
Of significance to my friend was that most of the tanker crew released unharmed. There was an important exception. Seven crew members from India were retained. The unlucky seven are continuing to be held as hostages by the pirates. There are ongoing negotiations regarding a prisoner exchange. Apparently India has captured a hundred or so pirates over the past few years. They are currently in Indian custody. The pirates want to swap those bad boys for the Indian crew. This represents a significant ratcheting up of things. Apparently the Indians are very pissed. It is unlikely that the prisoner exchange will happen. At some point in the not to distant future some Indians are going to be killed as a result. The only alternative is for India to kill some pirates first. Look for that to happen pretty soon. Speaking of killing pirates this is a video from last year that I thought was disturbing. (link)
The story is that Russia forces captured a pirate ship. They chained the pirates to the hull, and then blew up the ship. I can’t confirm that from published sources. But that is the word that I got from one ship owner. The following is an edited (shorter) version of the video. You decide what is going on here: