Take physic, pomp

Explaining basic concepts to financial journalists: Part One, the word “Growth”

Journalistic dumbassery surrounds us poor souls trying to sort the wheat from the chaff in LatAm, but it gets a bit tiresome when you even have to explain to local hacks what phrases like “trade growth” mean. Take for example this headline from Reuters about cocaine production in Bolivia, “Drug trade grows in Bolivia, Peru – U.N”

It comes from the UN report that Bolivia’s cocaine production grew by an estimated 9% to stand at 113 metric tonnes (MT) in 2008. But what is conveniently forgotten by the gringo agenda-laden hacks is that production might have gone up 9MT but the amount of cocaine confiscated by drugs officers in Bolivia rose by 10.4MT to 28MT in the same period (winning praise from the UN in the very same report).

Soooooooooo….86MT of cocaine trade in 2007 and 85MT of cocaine trade in 2008…and Bolivia’s cocaine trade “grew”?


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