I am reading now for my chapter 8, which assesses microfinance from the point of view that the essence of economic development is the creative growth of new institutions---in this case, microfinance institutions. As I have probably written before, this perspective casts Muhammad Yunus as a Henry Ford, a visionary who helped spawn a global industry with novel techniques to mass produce a valued product. The Grameen Bank he founded employs thousands, serves millions, competes, and innovates.
CGD Policy Blogs
I've had no regrets since I left mathematics almost 19 years ago. My last memories of studying it are of sitting in a library at the University of Cambridge, staring at lecture notes full of lifeless equations, struggling and failing to care. But occasionally I read something that reminds me of the beauty that can be found in math, and of the remarkable power of formal analysis. Then I see again what once made her attractive to me, if you'll forgive the metaphor.
You might know that I practice economics without a license. I've gotten by on just a bachelor's degree. This fall I have also been teaching without a license---teaching a half-course, Introduction to Microfinance for Development, at Georgetown's Public Policy Institute. Actually, many "unindoctorates" in Washington teach courses.
I saw the "Finance Access Initiative" blog by Abby Gray coming to Kiva's defense about David Roodman's article. I thought that was a great example of social media in action. I was wondering initially, did you think that you wanted to do a social media campaign after Roodman's article came out?
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: