It is healthy and expected for any growing trend or endeavor to receive critique and microfinance is no exception. I’ve decided to do a mini-round up of some recent critiques for those of you who might not have seen them. The New Yorker Article The New Yorker recently published an article by James Surowiecki called… Continue reading Critiquing microfinance, Part I
Mark Lange, a former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush (don’t tune out!), wrote a very interesting 5 part report called “An End to Poverty” summarizing some of the latest facts and thinking on extreme poverty and the road forward. I think this is an excellent summary which challenges both the mainstream left and right… Continue reading New hope for the last billion
Most people perceive that the world is a pretty rotten place and getting more rotten. We’ve got more wars/violence, more inequity, Africa getting poorer, climate change, etc. The Economist recently published an article sharing statistics about how the world is doing looking at three categories: the underlying social condition in poor countries, poverty alleviation over… Continue reading Is the world getting better?
Bill Gates shares his vision for “creative capitalism” at the World Economic Forum in Davos this past week. His speech is 20 minutes long, but very worthwhile for people interested in what the leader of the world’s largest foundation is thinking. Here are a few of his points I noted: Bill is an optimist …… Continue reading Bill Gates on Creative Capitalism
One of the key metrics tracked closely by microfinance institutions (MFIs) is the percent of the loan portfolio at risk (PAR) after 30 days. That is, what % of the loans outstanding are in arrears more than 30 days. This is viewed as an important indicator of the “health” of a loan portfolio and the… Continue reading Zero defaults not good for innovation
Photo by me of rural microfinance center meeting near Bangalore, India in September 2007. The gentleman in the middle is the loan officer from Grameen Koota MFI. The woman to his right is the elected center leader for this group of 30 women. The others were part of our Unitus Partner Expedition trip which my… Continue reading Increasing Microfinance Productivity
The Economist recently wrote about (article: With reservations) the current debate within India about whether the existing affirmative action (called “reservations” in India) quota legislation for the poor should be extended from higher-education education and government jobs to private companies. First, there are a variety of viewpoints of who should get affirmative action benefits. Historically,… Continue reading Affirmative action for the poor