April 28, 2004

Why Is the US Paying Only $3 for Its Embassy (or some other number?)

Seen, approximately, on CNN Headline News (in the ZCMI mall, where I went to hide from the snow and get a hot cinnamon bun):
$3 a year What US is paying Russia for Embassy, due to low ruble

The question is, is this false or just silly?

First thought: It's false. It's not because the ruble is low that the US is paying $3 a year, it's because Russia is charging a nominal cost. ("If there were a strong ruble it would be a whopping $15 a year!")

Second thought: No, it's just silly. The low ruble is the cause of the fact that the cost is $3 a year. If the ruble were strong the charge would be just as negligible, but it wouldn't be exactly $3.

Third thought: But is it true then that the US is paying $3 a year because of the low ruble? The fact that the ruble is low isn't enough (given the background conditions) to ensure that the rent is $3 a year; that requires the fact that the ruble is trading at 28.89 to the dollar (that's not approximate, I just looked it up). So, if the fact to be explained is that the US is paying $3 rather than any other amount, and the background that we're allowed to assume is that the rent is set at 87 rubles/year, the only way to make a true statement is to say "$3 a year... due to ruble trading at 29 to the dollar."

I didn't have a fourth thought.

Posted by Matt Weiner at April 28, 2004 06:58 PM

I'm having a thought right now.

Posted by: Isabella Ng at April 29, 2004 07:56 AM

Expressed or not?

Posted by: Matt Weiner at April 29, 2004 01:55 PM


Posted by: Isabella Ng at April 30, 2004 08:25 AM

How is the title of this post a pun?

Posted by: Avessi Avuto at May 1, 2004 04:48 PM