There's a pun hidden in this. The initially named arsonist goes by the name “Alan Pascal”. The most famous Pascal was of course Blaise Pascal, with “Blaise” pronounced /blɛz/, nearly homophonic with “blaze” (/blez/).
Leave it to the oeconomist himself to glean far more from a simple read through than most of us. And yes, that qualifies as a laugh out loud!
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