Milford Bateman, "a confessed microfinance sceptic" made a serious and novel (to me) charge against Kiva on the devfinance mailing list, that Kiva's cheap capital is padding the profits of any for-profit microfinance banks through which it lends. I tweeted his message, so I ought to share with you the reply I received from Kiva. First Milford:
CGD Policy Blogs
The demand for direct connection is baffling to me since most donors absolutely refuse direct connection to the people in need that are closest to them. Consider: how often do you or your friends take advantage of the opportunity to give directly and establish a connection by giving $20 to the guy standing at the corner with the cardboard sign saying, “Will Work for Food”?
I have just posted a draft of chapter 6 (.doc and .pdf). [Update: comments from Nancy Birdsall and Eben Lazarus incorporated.] More than any other so far, this draft incorporates text from this "open book" blog, forging a richer link between the two media. By the same token, regular readers of this blog will find less new in the chapter.
CGAP's ever-thoughtful Kate McKee blogs: