Well recovered, Mr Muir!

March 8, 2012

Well recovered, Jim Muir! The BBC Middle East correspondent had started to tell listeners to the Today radio programme that the Syrian pound had “lost 100% of its value” when he suddenly realised the impossibility of what he was saying.

Referring to the way in which the Syrian economy had suffered, he pointed out that the Syrian pound was trading at around 100 to the dollar: “… which means it has lost 100% … well, 50% of its value since the thing started.”

To have lost 100% of its value would mean, of course, that the currency was quite literally worthless, since a drop of 100% leaves precisely nothing.

A halving, on the other hand, is a 50% decrease. To his credit, Jim Muir recognised the potential faux pas and corrected himself just in time.

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One Response to “Well recovered, Mr Muir!”


  1. I first went to Syria in 2007. The exchange rate then was 100 Syrian pounds to the Pound Sterling. I was last in Syria in 2011, then the exchange rate was 75 SYP to the Pound Sterling.

    I didn’t hear Jim Muir’s report, so don’t know what was actually said and have no idea what ‘the thing’ is that had started. All I know is that the exchange rate is where is was in 2007 – before all these troubles started.

    I bet you pounds from any country you choose that the BBC didnt mention that fact.

    Samantha Phips


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