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Hear: Madoff's Method

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Seen in Lynwood, Mass.: Frothy market. Anesly Alvear Bravo/Planet Money Facebook group hide caption

itoggle caption Anesly Alvear Bravo/Planet Money Facebook group

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The Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate to the lowest on record. Which got everyone's interest, no? Today on Planet Money:

— Other falling numbers: U.S. housing starts and consumer prices. Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, says the bottom is turning out to be lower than he'd expected. And then there's the question of deflation.

— Two words: Bernard Madoff. And three words: split strike conversion. Madoff, of course, is the New York investment manager accused of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Defining the split strike conversion falls to economist Perry Mehrling of Barnard College. He breaks down the complicated trades that might fuel a fund like Madoff's.

Download the podcast; or subscribe. Opening clip: Stuart Hoffman, chief economist from PNC Financial Services/AP interview. Intro music: Lil Mama meets Marnie Stern for "Absorb the Lip Gloss." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Flickr.

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