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CGD Policy Blogs


The Persecution of an Imperfect Man

Lydia Polgreen has just posted (if I can use that verb) a story for the New York Times on the political controversy around Muhammad Yunus. It is a subtle sketch of a situation that, while polarized, is hardly black and white. I was struck by how the quotes, though they come from various sides of the fight, generally rang true:

In an interview at his office here, Mr. Yunus seemed stunned and deeply stung.

CGAP Blog Series on Over-indebtedness

Rich Rosenberg:

In a video-taped interview seven months ago, I expressed a degree of optimism that, historically at least, we had not been over-indebting unacceptable numbers of poor microborrowers, based on an admittedly tenuous inference from high repayment levels in most of the world. Since then, various conversations and data points have left me less comfortable with that inference.

A Dangerous Game

The nice thing about blogging one's ignorance is that it summons people to one's aid. Since I posted yesterday on Kremlinology in Dhaka, I've had some helpful conversations. Unfortunately, I must perpetuate the syndrome of secrecy that I regretted yesterday: I can't tell you who I talked to. I guess that is common in journalism, but it makes me uncomfortable.

Kremlinology in Dhaka

Last November 30, Tom Heinemann premiered his documentary Fanget i mikrogjeld (Caught in Microdebt). It showed women in Bangladesh saying they had lost a home or contemplated suicide because of microcredit; revealed an old dispute between the Grameen Bank and Norway over the use of aid funds; and charged Grameen with charging borrowers 30% interest.

The End Is Nigh

In India's Economic Times:

"This is it. We have cash till the end of February or early March. If collections do not pick up by then, we will have to shut down." This doomsday scenario is prophesised by Shiv Narain, chief financial officer of Spandana Sphoorty Financial, India's second largest microfinance institution.