Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

 
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It began with a simple $27 loan. After witnessing the cycle of poverty that kept many poor women enslaved to high-interest loan sharks in Bangladesh, Dr. Muhammad Yunus lent money to 42 women so they could purchase bamboo to make and sell stools. In a short time, the women were able to repay the loans while continuing to support themselves and their families. With that initial eye-opening success, the seeds of the Grameen Bank, and the concept of microcredit, were planted.

After earning a Ph.D. in economics at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Yunus returned to Bangladesh to settle into a life as a professor. But a famine in 1974 ravaged the country, leading Dr. Yunus to alter his thinking and his life profoundly: "What good were all my complex theories when people were dying of starvation on the sidewalks and porches across from my lecture hall?.... Nothing in the economic theories I taught reflected the life around me." Armed with little more than a lofty dream to end the suffering around him, he started an experimental microcredit enterprise in 1977; by 1983 the Grameen Bank was officially formed.

The idea behind the Grameen Bank is ingeniously simple: extend credit to poor people and they will help themselves. This concept strikes at the root of poverty by specifically targeting the poorest of the poor, providing small loans (usually less than $300) to those unable to obtain credit from traditional banks. At Grameen, loans are administered to groups of five people, with only two receiving their money up front. As soon as these two make a few regular payments, loans are gradually extended to the rest of the group. In this way, the program builds a sense of community as well as individual self-reliance. Most of the Grameen Bank's loans are to women, and since its inception, there has been an astonishing loan repayment rate of over 98 percent.

Banker to the Poor is an inspiring memoir of the birth of microcredit, written in a conversational tone that makes it both moving and enjoyable to read. The Grameen Bank is now a $2.5 billion banking enterprise in Bangladesh, while the microcredit model has spread to over 50 countries worldwide, from the U.S. to Papua New Guinea, Norway to Nepal. Ever optimistic, Yunus travels the globe spreading the belief that poverty can be eliminated: "...the poor, once economically empowered, are the most determined fighters in the battle to solve the population problem; end illiteracy; and live healthier, better lives. When policy makers finally realize that the poor are their partners, rather than bystanders or enemies, we will progress much faster that we do today." Dr. Yunus's efforts prove that hope is a global currency. --Shawn Carkonen

A new edition of the New York Times Bestseller by the Nobel Peace Prize-winner.

This autobiography of Nobel Peace Prizewinner Muhammad Yunus spent ten weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and was also a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Now repackaged in the spirit of his new book, Creating a World Without Poverty, this classic work on the birth of microfinance will contain excerpts from the new book.

Customer Reviews:

  • Banker to the Poor
    This book gives hope for the very poor whether in the U.S. or in refuge camps in Africa!...more info
  • Inspirational
    This is a truly inspirational story. After reading the book, you will realize the power you have to change the world around you. With passion, patience, and, hard work, anything can be achieved. This is the message that I got from the book....more info
  • Changing poverty with trust, imagination and loans
    Inspiring story of Muhammad Yunus's slow, sensible evolution of micro-lending, based on his respect for the poorest of the poor, his common sense approach and his ability to challenge established norms and patterns of finance. The track record of success speaks for itself..poverty can be greatly reduced when poor people have access to capital (no matter how small) and people who give them a chance. Inspiring, hopeful, easy to read. ...more info
  • Shows How It Was Done
    This book reads like a memoir. It's inspiring and yet factual. Individuals can make a big difference!...more info
  • Inspirational
    Muhammad Yunus's story is truly inspirational. In a world where we all too often accept situations as beyond our ability to influence, he demonstrates what one man can achieve with enough compassion and ingenuity. We read so much that is critical of the Muslim world, this book is a timely antedote. We could all learn a great deal from this man's life....more info
  • An autobiographical tour de force!
    A saga of how one man can truly transform the lives of millions of a lesser God. The eminent Nobel Peace Laureate, Mohammad Yunus elucidates his path-breaking business model of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which lends without any collateral to the financially and the socially ostracized. His ideology - access to credit is a fundamental human right. What is interesting to note is that 98% of the borrowers are women (way to go, ladies!) and the impressive repayment rate of 97%, which is way superior to that found in traditional banks. I relished the success stories explicating how these industrious women entrepreneurs were able to free themselves from the viscious cycle of poverty not to mention the happy escape from the exploitative and manipulative money lenders and come out on top. Very heart-warming indeed! The borrowers own 90% of the bank. Convinces you that micro-credit is an incredibly powerful tool for eradicating world poverty. Little wonder, Dr. Yunus' successful business model is implemented by so many other countries today.

    Ergo, this book deserves a chance if you are intrigued by the concept of micro-credit or feel the inclination for some inspiration, you will not be disappointed....more info
  • easy reading on a tough problem
    Yunus' book is engagingly written, drawing the reader in via first hand accounts of the poor and the seemingly miraculous transitions out of poverty that his micro-lending concept has achieved. So basic, so successful! A very inspirational book. He deserved the Nobel Prize! ...more info
  • economic micro-lending = macro social leverage
    Muhammad Yunus was born in 1940, the third of fourteen children, to an extremely devout Muslim family in Chittagong, the largest port city in Bangladesh. After studies at Chittagong University, and then University of Colorado and Vanderbilt (where he earned his PhD in economics), Yunus returned to help nation-build in Bangladesh, which had declared its independence from Pakistan in 1971. The independence movement had taken its toll; three million people were dead and 10 million were refugees. In 1974, a famine struck.

    As he tried to alleviate the broad and deep poverty in his homeland, Yunus came to "dread" his economics lectures. They were tragically far removed from the everyday lives of normal people. In a theme that would characterize much of the rest of his life, Yunus almost completely abandoned classical book learning in favor of listening to and learning directly from the extreme poor -- the millions of Bangladeshis living off two cents a day. In 1976 he loaned $27 to 42 villagers, and thus was born what eventually became the Grameen Bank (grameen means rural). As of the publication of this revised autobiography in 2003, Grameen and its many replicants had made $3.8 billion of micro-loans to 2.4 million families in over 100 countries. The borrowers themselves own 93% of the bank equity, 95% of the loan recipients are women, and the repayment rate on the loans is 98%. For all that, in 2006 Yunus and Grameen won the Nobel Peace Prize (not to mention more than two dozen honorary doctorates).

    Yunus is an excellent writer and story-teller. He shares at length about the many criticisms, myths, and prejudices he's had to face, especially from the "obtuse ineptitude" of governments and the sclerotic bureaucracy of aid organizations (he's particularly critical of the World Bank). He has tremendous faith in the initiative, skill, resilience and creativity of the poor. They're the ultimate entrepreneurs. "Not one single Grameen borrower requires any special training" (205), or any collateral, for that matter. Conversely, Yunus also believes that the poor have many things to teach the rich. When the World Bank's president Barber Conable bragged to Yunus about hiring the best minds in the world, he responded that "hiring smart economists does not necessarily translate into policies and programs that help the poor." Spurning conventional wisdom about development aid and economic categories of the liberal left and the free market right, Grameen's success speaks for itself. As a follow up, see Yunus's newest book called Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism (New York: Public Affairs, 2008)....more info
  • Be inspired by this great man and great book
    Having seen Muhammad Yunus on The Daily Show I was moved to buy this book. Boy am I glad. This is a true feel-good story of how you can turn a concept on its head and succeed. The concept of micro-lending as a way to help the world's poor is really inspiring.

    The journey from idea to billion dollar organisation is really compelling and always told in a very modest fashion. Certainly made me want to invest in the idea.

    Great story, great book, great man. Read it....more info
  • Detailed and fascinating
    This book is part autobiography, part history of the the Grameen Bank, and part reflection on microcredit lessons learned and plans for the future. The book was originally publised in 1997 and revised in 1999 and 2003.

    The early chapters cover the author's childhood in Chittagong, his Fulbright scholarship for a Ph.D. at Vanderbilt and his return to Bangladesh following its war for independence. Bored with government work Yunus quit to run the economics department at Chittagong University, situated in the coutryside where the famine and poverty was impossible to ignore. Following experiments with funding irrigation the author turned his attention to the landless poor who were trapped in a cycle of dependency on local moneylenders. Meeting a bamboo stool maker became a pivotal moment, realizing she needed only 22 cents to escape an exploitative arrangement with a trader, and that forty-two people in the same village could be helped for a total of less than $27.

    Thus was born Yunus's dream of a bank to help the poor. After months of struggling with orthodox bureaucracies he started a pilot project with the help of students providing one year loans to groups of five borrowers - many of them women - following indoctrination in responsibility and self-reliance. Interest was set at 20%pa with weekly repayments over the course of a year, repayment rates were over 98%. Over the next few years the Grameen Bank expanded into neighboring villages and districts gaining members and managers, and support of first the Central Bank of Bangladesh, and then international institutions including the Ford Foundation. In the 1980s and 1990s the bank expanded rapidly across the country, loaning to over two million members and diversifying into loans for shelters, fisheries, exports and telecommunications. The author is particularly proud that the Bank is now fully independent, owned by its members, and profitable despite the frequent natural catastrophes that afflict Bangladesh. The bank has become a poster child for social entrepreneurship, bypassing government and seeking to eliminate poverty in Bangladesh through its self help principles while making a modest profit. As such it offers a new vision of capitalism, subject to the dicipline of assigning resources efficiently, but without seeking to maximize profits at the expense of everything else.

    Positive publicity has helped spread micro-credit to Malaysia and the Phillipines and elsewhere around the world: the Grameen Trust with the support of the World Bank has helped establish projects in 27 countries that had made loans to over a million people as of 2002. There have even been efforts in the US, including the Good Faith Fund in Arkansas backed by then Governor Clinton and the Full Circle Fund in Chicago, but welfare regulations in the US and Europe complicate matters considerably. There are now plans to reach the world's poorest 100 million families with micro-credit and to eliminate poverty altogether....more info
  • banker to the poor
    A well written book about how Yunus successfully lent money to impoverished people in Bangladesh and, in so doing, empowered them to create better lives for themselves. The pages echo Yunus's faith in the human spirit, his dedication to eradicating poverty, and his tenacity to succeed in the face of naysayers cries. He talks about the origins of the banks name, The Grameen Bank and notes that Grameen derives from the word gram, or village.

    Yunus denounces typical methods of poverty reduction, such as those that tie funds to skills training. And he acknowledges that he has critics in this regard. He writes, "I firmly believe that all human beings have an innate skill. I call it the survival skill. The fact that the poor are alive is clear proof of their ability. They do not need us to teach them how to survive; they already know how to do this. So rather than waste our time teaching them new skills, we try to make maximum use of their existing skills. Giving the poor access to credit allows them to immediate put into practice the skills they already know - to weave, husk rice patty, raise cows, peddle a rickshaw." (p. 140). ...more info
  • Nobel Peace Prize Winner Book
    This book arrived on time and in great shape, which I was pleased with since it was mailed to a friend as a gift. Thanks!...more info
  • Interesting read...
    I have seen Dr. Yanus speak on the topic of Micro-Lending in person, at a consortium in Los Angeles. I was interested and inspired by both the man himself, as well as his ideas. I think that both he, and his workers at Grameen are deserving of the Nobel Prize for Peace. The book is told in his own words and the reader is exposed to both his humility as well as his fierce passion as an advocate for the poor. I found the book both readable and informative.

    RS...more info
  • Inspirational
    I really enjoyed this book from an inspirational standpoint. I wasn't necessarily a fan of the writing style but the message is powerful. I think what Mr. Yunus is espousing in terms of micro-loans and showing people "how to fish" is accurate. Quite obviously it has worked for his bank. I believe it would work well in the US if we had more of an entreprenuerial spirit. We teach our young to go to school, get a good education and to work for some one else. This country was founded by entreprenuers and somewhere along the way we lost that vision.

    I have purchased another copy of this book to give to away. I have highlighted a lot of areas that are powerful...which is most of the book....more info
  • Inspiring for anyone who wants to help others.
    This story is really about courage and strength of conviction. Dr. Yunus showed his courage when he stood up with his peers and helped create the state of Bangladesh. After that, he returned to his country rather than stay in the USA in an easy safe place.
    That move put him in the middle of the poverty and starvation of his country, and he again showed the strength of his convictions by facing down the beaurocrats and rich classes to begin changing lives. The reason he succeeded is because he used the realism of economics and a reasoned approach. No dreamer, he knew that (as global economics has proven) if people were given access to a free market, and supported in their efforst, they could rise above poverty.
    I've given my first two copies away, and bought a third. Maybe I can read this one before I give it away!! Read his story and be inspired.
    ...more info
  • Inspiring
    Consulting to the banking industry, I always admire those who find innovative approaches to building profitable financial services businesses serving the poor and unbanked. There are great examples in South Africa and the US. The Grameen story is so inspiring. It provides a ray of hope to the world's impoverished and, by extension, to the entire world....more info
  • An Important Read
    In this complex world, it is important to think outside of the box. This book details the business enterprise of just such a thinker. It is a book of good economics aligned with good human spirit....more info
  • Great Way to give a Hand Up
    On a recent flight, I read an outstanding book called Banker to the Poor Microlending and the Battle Against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus. Muhammad taught economics at the University of Bangladesh and saw the poverty around him and felt that that his theoretical work at the university was not solving the problem. What he saw was the small amounts of money loaned to people to allow them to start their business or raw materials could have a huge impact.

    He started Grameen Bank and started making micro-credit loans to people in groups using the social pressure to make sure everyone repays their loans. His first loans he saw that 42 people needed $27.00 to buy raw materials and this was his first loan. He had tremendous success repaying the loans and has since grown to almost 2,000 branches and a staff of 11,000 which has loaned $3.9 billion with a recovery rate of 98%.

    Impressive results with limited resources.

    This is a true book of hope and definitely worth reading....more info
  • a small idea that grew and helped people
    Mr. Yunnus details how he helped people slowly and on a small basis and with that foundation helped people on a larger scale. The discussion of failure and politics and buercracy are invaluable here. A great book especially if you are studying economics and banking....more info
  • Great for those interested in poverty relief/development
    After reading, we bought multiple copies to give away to colleagues working in various capacities in poor areas of the world. Yunus' ideas and experience need to be examined and considered. This is no World Bank/UN/WMF big program aid-dump, but a reasonable, realistic, measured path from poverty to empowerment for the world's poor....more info
  • Very good until he went to far.
    Mr. Yunas has made an important and encouraging contribution to the development of poor countries and the dignity of poor people. His system both encourages initiative and gives necessary support. I was with him until he disclosed that he had the answer for remaking the world's economy; I don't think that any one person or system has the answer to that. Knowing that the end of the book is disappointing, I still recommend it because it has tremendous insight into what people in developing countries need....more info
  • A book about poverty and Triumph
    This books shows us that the lack of access to credit for the poorest of the poor is possibly as bad as lack of food. Without some access to credit they have absolutely no chance to ever get out of the revolving situation that will absorb then and their children. It's a vicious cycle of poverty that will be perpetuated unless they are given a chance to break it. And they all want to break it. Not for themselves, but for their future generations, which will incrementally improve their situation....more info
  • Amazing read!
    Banker to the Poor is a really clear way of explaining what microfinance is as well as showing the drastic difference that $40 can make in people's lives. Shows the humanitarianism of microlending, why it's better than just giving people money, and how it can be a useful tool to help many people. I really recommend this book for anyone, and especially so for anyone interested in helping others or setting up programs to help others (my church is using microlending now)....more info
  • Wonderful and Inspiring!
    This audio book was absolutely wonderful. I found it really inspiring and engaging. I was really surprised by how interesting it was, I was afraid it would be a little dry but that wasn't true at all. I enjoyed every chapter. This book really did make me want to change my life, it gave me a lot to think about that I'm still working with. In fact I hope I never stop thinking about it and the issues it opened up.

    The reader was very good, he had enough inflection in his voice to keep it interesting, but did not over play the words. It was the sort of narration that provided a similar feeling to reading myself, where I could put my own emphasis and voice to the words and not be distracted by the an overly dramatic narrator....more info
  • Bank to the Poor is A MUST READ
    This book helped me to decide that I wanted to go into Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and is a must read for anyone who is thinking of a career in Social Change/Sustainability....more info
  • Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness... and credit
    Muhammad Yunus constructed a system in Bangladesh to help the poorest of the poor get loans for tiny amounts of money. Since its inception 1980, variations on this system have spread all over the world with great success.

    Yunus starts with the premise that credit should be a right, not a privilege, and the people who need credit the most are the ones locked out of the standard credit system. He recounts a story of a woman who makes bamboo stools. She borrows money to buy the raw materials from a middleman, and as repayment for that loan, she is forced to give the finished stool back to him. He then pays her 2 cents for her work. The raw materials cost only 22 cents, and if she just had that capital herself, she could buy her own bamboo and reap all of the profits from the final sale of the stool. But she doesn't have 22 cents and therefore is effectively a debt slave.

    Most people who hear about the concept of microfinance for the poor immediately ask, "Why do poor people pay the loans back?" The answer provided in "Banker to the Poor" is multi-faceted and not wholly satisfying, but it is clear that the system does work. Repayment rates are generally higher than loans given to the so-called credit worthy in standard loan arrangements. A rate of over 98% has been achieved.

    Repayment is encouraged by a combination of (1) a high level of interaction between bank workers and the borrower's communities, (2) fair and respectful treatment by the bank, (3) the formation local peer groups to encourage repayment, (4) short loan terms with weekly payments, (5) loans primarily to women, and (6) the fact that the borrowers know this is their one shot -- if they shirk repayment, they are screwed. Their *lives* are their collateral.

    The book is an easy, entertaining read, and the enthusiasm of the author for the topic is clear. His stories of individuals who have risen out of poverty through micro-loans is stirring, but toward the end of the book, he talks about poverty in a more philosophical way, and one can't help criticizing his idealism. He proposes a version of socially-conscious capitalism that he claims could help eradicate poverty from the entire world. Under his proposed system, corporations would be motivated by the sum of social utility and profit, not just profit alone. It's a nice thought, but it seems a little naive. But perhaps it takes such unbridled idealism to truly make an important difference in the world, as it seems Yunus has done....more info
  • A little goes a long way...
    What fascinates me most about Yunus is that he is a do-er, not just a theorist cranking out research papers. This is not a how-to book, but rather a story about Yunus's struggles and successes while starting and expanding Grameen Bank. It is more of an ideological foundation (you can't ignore those attacks on the World Bank and United Nations), but inspirational nonetheless. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in microfinance....more info
  • A Mission Worthy of the Nobel Prize
    I enjoyed Muhammad Yunus's story about the formation of Grameen Bank but it did begin to drag a bit at the end. Not that the story grew less noble with the telling but because it became a repetition of the same story as the concept of micro-lending to the poor was applied to other countries. Yunus deserves so much praise for the idea and making it happen. As much as anything this is a story of overcoming the odds and one man's commitment to an idea....more info
  • Excellent Autobiography of a Very Interesting Individual
    An excellent autobiography of a very interesting man, Muhammad Yunus, a Bengali economist and pioneer of microlending, who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. The book deals with the story of his life: his childhood in Chittagong (his father was a jeweller) in the newly independent East Pakistan (later Bangladesh), his university education in the United States, and most important, how he decided after a horrible famine in 1974 to leave the ivory tower world of academia (he was by then the director of an economics department in a university in Bangladesh) in order to start a program of microlending that would become a huge success, and offer hope to millions of people living in poverty. Thirty two years later, the Grameen Bank he founded would become known throughout the world for its approach to microlending, and get Yunus a well deserved Nobel Prize....more info
  • Mitch Hiatt's Review of Yunus' Banker to the Poor
    Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R9DQ0HQRQAFU Mitch Hiatt's review was made as part of a critical review assignment for the Fall 2008 Economics of Entrepreneurship seminar at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, taught by Art Diamond. (The course syllabus stated that part of the critical review assignment consisted of the making of a video recording of the review, and the posting of the review to Amazon.)...more info
  • Eye Opening
    I'm very impressed with Mohammad Yunus. He created an entire network of microlending without ever selling out his dreams or ideas to the larger banks or even the World Bank. I found his passion to help the extreme poor to be inspiring. I have a new found understanding and respect of Bangladesh and its' people through his eyes. He is most deserving of the Novel Peace Prize....more info
  • Lateral Banking
    Learn how limiting entrenched Eurocentric thinking can be. Be inspired by the lateral thinking of Muhammad Yunus! A heartwarming read with just a touch too much description of the complexities of beaurocracy, but a must read nevertheless....more info
  • a book you should read
    you should read this book not because its exceptionally well written, because it is only competently written. You should read it because it is written by a man who has challenged our business model of helping the poor (and make no mistake, helping the poor is a business model more than a charity model)>

    There is a reason these ideas rated a Nobel Peace prize, and reading about the thoughts and ideas in the firsst person is more powerful than others' interpretations.

    So read it to learn, and to expand your thinking....more info
  • Compulsory reading!
    This book eloquently describes the political and economic systems that keep the poor impoverished - and it describes the problems encountered in solving the problem. Muhammad Yunus is an inspirational, compassionate, intelligent role model who has lived and `walked his talk' in every way. I think this book should be compulsory reading for every senior school student born into a privileged, first world country. The fourteen-year old who whines for more pocket money would do well to understand and respect how it is for those born less fortunate; and we may benefit from their increased social awareness. ...more info
  • Slow start but inspiring overall
    It took me several weeks after starting this book to actually get into it. It starts with Yunus childhood but then gets into the political climate of Bangladesh, which is quite boring. Once the author starts talking about Grameen bank and establishing its microcredit system, it gets interesting. Yunus is both an idealist and practicalist and has strong opinions on what government should and shouldn't do. As a government employee for 10 years, I found his opinion on the mark. I found that I worked in bureaucracies that spent money on studies rather than directly helping people, for example. His discussion of socially responsible business is quite interesting, but has a huge obstacle of overcoming the idea that the poor can't/won't help themselves...overall, a great book on a great economic initiative that has directly helped the poor all over the world. ...more info
  • Illuminating saga of Nobel-winning microcredit hero
    In 1974, while Muhammad Yunus was teaching economics in Bangladesh, the country was ravaged by famine. Increasingly uncomfortable teaching abstract theories while starving people shuffled by outside his classroom, Yunus realized his economic education was incomplete. To complete it, he went to local villages to "learn from the poor" about what they actually needed rather than what a textbook said they should have. The answer was credit, so Yunus founded a bank to provide it - Grameen Bank. The name means the "bank of the village." Today, Yunus is a Nobel Peace Price winner and Grameen Bank has extended credit to more than 2.6 million people. This down-to-earth, unsentimental autobiography recounts what inspired him, the obstacles he overcame and the ultimate success of this project, his life's work. We highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know how one person's efforts can have a huge impact.
    ...more info
  • Innovative, hopeful, and thought-provoking
    There's no question that in most of the world, poor people are left out of the money cycle. Since the really poor don't have anything of value (the thinking goes), how can we trust them with anything? Why loan them money? How on earth would they pay? We'd be foolish to believe they would. Also, what would a person with no means actually do with a loan? They certainly don't need that kind of money.

    Mohammad Yunus and his creation, the Grameen (Village) Bank, contradict this traditional banker thinking. This book gives a history of Professor Yunus himself and tells the story of how he came to create and grow the bank that eventually won a Nobel Prize for its microcredit programs aimed at exceptionally poor people, especially women. I found the early chapters, about Yunus' personal life growing up in eastern Pakistan, his time in the US, and his return to a newly formed Bangladesh interesting. They provide an appropriate background for his later work in the village near the university where he taught economics, beginning with the first loan he made himself - $27 to 42 people!

    I found it quite an easy read, although it is outside my own field of expertise. I appreciated the pace up to the last couple of chapters, which seemed to come bowling at me with enormous speed (though maybe that's on purpose given the organization's seeming explosive growth in the 1990s and beyond). I would have been interested to also read about how a typical loan actually gets used and repaid - it's difficult for me to imagine what a borrower's balance sheet might look like that she would be able to put the full amount to work immediately and still be able to make a payment in 1 week. How much return would you really see on a goat or whatever in the first week? I just don't know. I also found myself questioning the seeming need for loan after loan after loan - I'm not convinced that this is completely a good thing, but it wasn't dealt with at much length in the book so I don't know how typical that is or what it really indicates. The last chapter, dealing with the future of the bank and Yunus' desire for a parallel economic system based not on profit but on social progress seemed a little weird to me, but I'm not an economist. It seems like more trouble to re-invent the wheel than to put the car we already have on another path.

    One thing I found especially compelling is Yunus' development of specific measurable outcomes and goals for his bank's members. The bank's Decisions are interesting in that they seem to have been agreed on by the members themselves, not driven from above. I also appreciated his list of indicators to assess poverty level - although this was somewhat glossed over in the text, these measurable outcomes are applicable to any on-the-ground assessment of functional poverty or non-poverty. If this was the only thing in there, it would still be worthwhile. Read this book. Whether you agree wholeheartedly, scoff openly, or something in between, you'll find it thought provoking.
    ...more info

 

 
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