h a l f b a k e r y
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This company would buy and fill cargo ships with disaster
supplies. The ships would be staged around the world and
their cargos sold when disaster hits. They would be
en masse at the scene of the disaster within 24 hours with
optionally purchasable security and logistics support.
Theres a word for this sort of thing.
As [MB] points out. But, I've voted [+] (anno below) [mouseposture, Mar 20 2011]
Probably want to involve these guys... [Jinbish, Mar 20 2011]
||Not a bad idea, but I suspect the word "disaster" and "sold"
might raise some hackles.
||There's a problem here which might also be a solution to a
different problem. (i.e. here's an advantage to the idea
which you haven't mentioned).
||The problem is, if you invest in building, storing, and
maintaing these, you earn a return on that investment
only in the event of one of those "far out on the tail of the
distribution Taleb black swan" -type events, that are too
rare for reliable statistical modeling. So this would
represent a very uncertain investment.
||But there exist potential counterparties seeking insurance
against these events. Normally, the the parties who
insure them expect to lose money in the event of, e.g. a
tsunami, and expect to remain solvent based on the rarity
of that event (i.e. they expect to collect insurance
premiums from the customers who don't experience a
natural disaster, to compensate).
||But that requires a good estimate of the probability of the
event, which is problematic for large, rare events.
||An alternative is to devise an investment which makes
money in the event of such a disaster, and sell shares in
that investment, as insurance, to people who would lose
money in the event of the disaster. The profit-loss
calculation should be independent of the probability of
the disaster. (Shouldn't it? Am I missing something?)
||You can accomplish that with financial jiggery-pokery, but
in the event of a disaster, someone, somewhere, is going
to have to pay. Much better if you can contrive to sell
something whose value increases -- really increases, in the
physical world, not just on paper -- in the event of a
disaster. Like a cargo ship loaded with food, fresh water,
prefab housing, etc.
||The plan's not perfect: there's a moral hazard. That is,
there's a temptation to not adequately maintain the
ships and their cargo. But that should be preventable with
of inspections paid for by the investors.
||Sort of like a world-size emergency first aid kit. [+]
||I'm sure they do, [Ian]. I'm sure they do.
Ah - you can't beat a good bit of NWOBHM. I'm going to see Iron Maiden in August.
||Baked: US aircraft carrier.
||No no [DIYMatt], the idea is to help after a disaster, not to cause one.