CGD Policy Blogs
An early post, To Fee or Not to Fee, asked what we are supposed to make of advocates who assail "user fees" in health and education (which charge the poor for the services they receive) while celebrating microcredit, which is characterized by passing most of its costs on to borrowers.
[Honest subtitle: Ten-year Report on My Experiment in Measured Contrarianism in Personal Finance]
Catching up on my RSS feeds after a week of ignoring them, I hit two videos that made my skin crawl a bit. The first is a music video from a group called The Green Children, shot in Bangladesh. The song is "Hear Me Now." It was written "to celebrate the amazing women who are microcredit clients of Grameen Bank." Half the iTunes proceeds will support microcredit in Kerala, India. One shot that bothers me comes near the end and is of a brick breaker.
In an article that was published in tomorrow's(!) Wall Street Journal, reporter Ketaki Gokhale emphatically asserts that "a credit crisis is brewing in 'microfinance'":
Here in Ramanagaram, a silk-making city in southern India, Zahreen Taj noticed the change. Suddenly, in the shantytown where she lives, lots of people wanted to loan her money. She borrowed $125 to invest in her husband's vegetable cart. Then she borrowed more.
The wife, the boys, and I are heading up to Maine for a week tomorrow, then back to DC for a night, then to a dance camp for another week. So I might not blog. Or I might. If you need something to fill the void, watch how I entered a folkdance competition in England this past weekend---rather bizarre and extravagant, I know. I placed 3rd.