# English language question combined with Math from Movie Heat

Look, Van Zant. Nobody knew the merch was yours or

they would have respected it. Be that asit may: now you get 100% from the insurance company and you're even, plus you can get the bonds back for 60 cents onna dollar. You make an additional 40%. Your operation doesn't skip a beat, and everybody's making out.

“merch” I would assume means merchandise. Otherwise it could somehow be short for “Mercedes,” the car, but it seems like they are talking about goods here.

As far as the 40 percent goes, my best guess would be that he is not just referring to the 60 percent, but rather doing another calculation. So, maybe person 1 was taking into account the 100 percent back from the insurance along with the 60 cents on the dollar – comparing that to how much profit he knew person 2 had originally intended to make – and then calculated that person 2 would now make 40 percent more than originally planned.

That’s my guess, but I’m not sure it’s correct.

I asked about this a long time ago, and left it there but honestly I still don't get it. did he explain why, still, it makes 40 percent? Is it the language or 40% context is not fully explained? It's just a movie, doesn't have to be logical, but in case I'm missing something here. Anyone who've seen Heat direted by Michael Mann in 1995, starring Al Pacino, Robert de Niro, Val KIlmer...

• p.s. it was really hard to put a tag on this... – hermes May 22 '17 at 23:00
• Someone stole Van Zant’s merch(andise). It was worth 100% to him while he had it. He gets the same amount back from the insurance, so he breaks even. If he wants, he can also (for some reason not explained in your quote) buy it back for 60% of its value (60 cents on the dollar). So he gets 100% from the insurance and spends 60% on getting his merch back. Once he has it back, he's back where he started (with the merch in possession), but he's 40% of its value richer: the 40% of the insurance he didn't have to spend buying back the merch. This is really a maths question, not an English question. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 22 '17 at 23:12
• @Janus Bahs Jacquet Oh.. that explains.. although I took an insurance class at university I suck at it.. the idea of 40% value 'richer' is still not fully digested.. so money not spent is money earned .. sounds like accounting perspective I've left long ago.. – hermes May 22 '17 at 23:20
• No, money received from the insurance company is money earned. Think of it this way: You have no money. Your phone is worth \$100. You lose it. Your insurance gives you \$100 for it. You buy an identical phone for \$60. You now have a phone and also \$40. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 22 '17 at 23:24
• It's a scam. The bonds were stolen. He collects the insurance. He also buys the bonds back from the thief. Had the thief(s) known to whom the bonds belonged, they wouldn't have stolen them; they would have "respected" it. – Xanne May 22 '17 at 23:25