by Sid H Arthur - Bangladesh 04 Feb 2007 07:01 pm

Wealth Of The Poor

The practice of giving tiny, unsecured loans in the developing world is being hailed as a breakthrough in the fight against global poverty. Adam Yamaguchi explores the concept of microcredit and its founder, Muhammad Yunus, in Bangladesh.

See the short film on CurrentTV.

3 Responses to “Wealth Of The Poor”

  1. on 05 Feb 2007 at 3:59 pm 1.Nasser said …

    Aye, also check out Faisal Rehman’s “Fair Finance” organisation, and the “East End Microcredit Consortium” which is being quite succesfull in supporting microcredit projects for women in socially deprived areas of East London. Recently, this has been attracting the attention of parliament. Financers are also starting to pick it up and are beginning to call it “social investment” (as opposed to commercial investment).

  2. on 05 Feb 2007 at 4:00 pm 2.Nasser said …

    sorry, that Faisel Rahman

  3. on 08 Feb 2007 at 1:53 pm 3.Riz said …

    I am a little upset. I used to think that Grameen Bank was a pure for-profit organisation with a social conscience. In my opinion this would have been ideal, as it would have meant there existed a real market to be exploited by the profit motive - this would have led to increased competition, more choice, and reduced interest rates for small borrowers. While there are several successful small ‘for-profit’ micro-finance lenders in a handful of developing countries, my quick research on Grameen tells me they not operating along these lines. I’m sure they do a good job in advancing the nation and empowering the poor, but if there was a real gap in the market that had been wholly overlooked, this could have been revolutionary. Instead, they seem to rely on external finance to keep their core business running, and indeed they may still be reliant on subsidises of one form or another.

    Here are two excellent articles on the topic:

    http://society.guardian.co.uk/aid/comment/0,,1924510,00.html

    http://www.mises.org/story/2375

    Personally, I hope microfinance flourishes as a free market concept. That’s what is needed for it to be truly sustainable.

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