Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Numb3rs and the Prime Rate of Interest

I like the idea that there is a television crime show in which the hero is a math jock who uses math to solve crimes. And while I was skeptical about the show after its premiere, I got so I liked it anyway.

The last episode I saw (I'm not sure if it was the last one to have been aired) involved a kidnapping combined with an attempt to hack into the computers of the Federal Reserve system to get advance notice about the upcoming Prime Rate of interest.

Actually, the prime rate is somewhat removed from direct Fed control; the prime rate is the rate charged by commercial banks to their most credit-worthy customers.

If someone had advance information about the Fed's intentions regarding the Federal Funds Rate, that might be pretty valuable information which could have formed the basis for that episode; but for all the care taken to put together a decent show, you would think they might have checked with an economist.
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