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CGD Policy Blogs


The Most Important 2009 Microfinance Post You Didn't Read

I tend toward curmudgeonry, as you might have noticed. And I don't spare new technologies of my skepticism even though I am a natural computer programmer. (Really, what was so bad about punch cards?) I don't have a smart phone, but am pleased with two features of my dumb phone: It can receive calls. And it can make them too.

Kristof Calls for Microsavings Revolution

Nicholas Kristof's column today is about the promise of microsavings. He starts by describing what must be a Village Savings & Loan Association (VLSA), operated by Catholic Relief Services in Nicaragua:

“We used to buy a three-liter bottle of Coke every day,” recalled Socorro Machado, a 49-year-old homemaker in a village here in northwestern Nicaragua. That was a bit less than a gallon, and the cost of $1.75 consumed a large share of the family’s budget.

Weekly Tweets for 2009-12-18

  • Q:what is this ranking? 1.Zimbabwe 2.Japan 3.Lebanon 4.Jamaica 5.Italy 6.Sudan 7.Singapore 8.Greece A:debt/GDP #
  • "The assumption that conduct is prompt and rational is in all cases a fiction. But it proves to be sufficiently near to reality... #

Old Man Schumpeter

Schumpeter is a sort of patron saint in this field. I may be alone in thinking that he should be treated like a patron saint: paraded around one day each year and more or less ignored the rest of the time.---Robert Solow, 1994