As the world economy founders, shipwrecks, at least according to this report, have become a profitable investment. The “shipwreck extraction business,” writes “Pacific Guy” (the report’s anonymous author), is currently in an “optimal scenario.” As Pacific Guy reasons:
With gold and silver prices near all-time highs, an extensive backlog of valuable advanced stage shipwreck projects, a strong cash balance to pursue these projects, and several major catalysts on the horizon, I believe that Odyssey Marine Exploration is set to soar.
Now I’m certainly not advocating buying their stock. Indeed, the report reads more like an Odyssey wish list than a rigorous assessment of the company’s potential. But Pacific Guy’s diatribe against “preserving cultural heritage” caught my eye. Certainly public-private partnerships are a viable model for successful shipwreck archaeology (see this earlier post). But in order for it to be successful both sides have to respect the other’s goals. Anyone who has watched Treasure Quest knows that is not the case. Maybe things will change. Maybe not. Take what you want from Pacific Guy’s conclusion:
I predict that one day, hopefully soon given the worsening global fiscal crisis, there will be an about face from countries such as Spain and they will embrace the Odyssey model. When that day comes, look out above…
Let’s hope that lean day never comes when governments trade their cultural heritage for salvaged lucre.