The value of spurious precision

From a TimesLive article on looting:

A millionaire’s daughter, Laura Johnson, 19, was remanded in custody when she appeared in court in Bexley near London after being arrested behind the wheel of a car filled with stolen electrical goods and alcohol worth about £5000 (R56385.90).

So the goods were worth about GBP50,000 GBP5,000 (a good round number for an estimate) but worth exactly R56,385.90.  Yes, and 90c.

Accuracy is often important. Precision is sometimes important. Pretending to have either is silly.

Published by David Kirk

The opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and other commenters and are not necessarily those of his employer or any other organisation. David Kirk runs Milliman’s actuarial consulting practice in Africa. He is an actuary and is the creator of New Business Margin on Revenue. He specialises in risk and capital management, regulatory change and insurance strategy . He also has extensive experience in embedded value reporting, insurance-related IFRS and share option valuation.

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