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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


31 percent

Our coverage of the abysmal Cleveland Browns continues: The Browns have a 31 percent chance of going 0-16, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL Elo ratings. Is this gratuitous coverage of the Browns’ struggles due to my roommate, previously of Cleveland, failing to clean up a horrid mess left in the kitchen after preparing lemon scones this past weekend? I’ll leave that to you, dear reader, to decide. [FiveThirtyEight]


33rd best

Jurgen Klinsmann’s run as the U.S. men’s national soccer team coach officially came to an end on Monday. When Klinsmann began his tenure, the USMNT ranked as only the 34th best team in the world, according to our men’s soccer Elo ratings. We were an international joke with no hope of advancing to the top tier of global soccer. But after the U.S. soccer renaissance Klinsmann fostered, the USMNT is now sitting pretty at No. 33. The nation is eternally grateful for the progress Klinsmann achieved. [FiveThirtyEight]


$13,830,598

If $1,000 was invested in the Medallion Fund when it was created in 1988, it would now be worth $13,830,598. The fund — an investment vehicle run by hedge fund titan Renaissance Technologies — has created about $55 billion in profit over 28 years, and has unheard-of annual returns. Renaissance Technologies is one of those companies always preceded by a phrase like “notoriously secretive,” which makes this Bloomberg Markets feature on it all the more interesting. [Bloomberg]


$127.5 million

There is no feud as bareknuckled as a fine-art-world feud. In 2013, Sotheby’s sold “Christ as Salvator Mundi,” a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, on behalf of a group of art dealers. A company controlled by Swiss businessman Yves Bouvier bought the painting for $80 million. Bouvier et al then sold the painting for $127.5 million to a Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev. The art dealers are now royally peeved, and are threatening to sue Sotheby’s over the roughly $47-million difference, presumably because the whole point of an auctioneer is to get the best price possible. Sotheby’s has now asked a federal judge to clear it of wrongdoing in the case. And this isn’t even the main dance: Rybolovlev is already suing Bouvier for overcharging him by at least $500 million on various other deals. [Bloomberg]


Nearly $212 million

Marijuana sales in Washington State in the second quarter of 2016, compared to $249 million sold in alcoholic spirits. [KING-TV]


261.6 billion barrels

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (a.k.a. Aramco) is the largest producer of crude oil in the world, but the state-controlled business is trying to diversify. I mean, it’s not diversifying that much — the company isn’t getting into the used-car game, or anything. But Aramco is building up its petrochemical manufacturing capabilities in an effort to make Saudi Arabia less dependent on the price of plain old oil. Still, the company says it has 261.6 billion barrels yet to come out of the ground, about 20 times as much as Exxon Mobil has, so it’s not exactly like its oil extraction business is in danger. [The Wall Street Journal]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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