“Here I am in the middle way, Having had twenty years, Twenty years largely wasted… The years of l’entre deux guerres”. TS Eliot’s lines come to mind and it metamorphoses into “Here I am at the end of the way, Having had thirty years, Thirty years largely wasted… The years of les guerres de l’interne”
CGD Policy Blogs
As an interviewee in Tom Heinemann's documentary, I received a copy of the English version in the mail last Thursday. Compared to the Norwegian one (blogged here), the English version devotes less time to the old spat between Norway and the Grameen Bank, cuts other stuff I haven't tried to determine, and travels beyond Bangladesh, to India, Nigeria, and Mexico.
The oddest thing I do when I'm not blogging microfinance is English folk dancing. England has a wealth of dance traditions, and I do many of them. Maybe sometime I will write more fully about my past and present in these traditions, but for now I will be brief.
A few weeks after Norwegian television premiered Tom Heinemann's documentary, which aims squarely at Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, the Grameen Foundation asked to interview me for a video response. The Foundation is a Washington-based charity that was started in the late 1990s to propagate the Grameen Bank's credit model to other nations.
From the latest Banana Skins report, here are the big movers on the list of worries among microfinance insiders:
Reputation: the good name of microfinance increasingly under attack
Competition: undermining business and ethical standards
Corporate governance: showing weakness under stress
Political interference: backlash against MFI lending practices
Inappropriate regulation: failing to provide a healthy environment
But does microfinance, in fact, help the poor?
BBC journalist Madeleine Morris, with producer Leo Hornak, has filed two versions of her report on the Andhra Pradesh microfinance crisis, one audio and one video (below). I think the audio one is particularly good, being twice as long. Both give a good sense of the complexities of the situation, showing the good and the bad. I am not in either.