The machinations around the Grameen Bank over the last two years have a had a paradoxical, dreamlike quality. Harsh words have been spoken by mighty leaders. Eminent dignitaries have rushed to the defense. Court battles have been fought. Crimes have been alleged. The mighty Muhammad Yunus has fallen.
CGD Policy Blogs
In November 2009, some guy nobody had heard of, Daniel Rozas, wrote an article asking whether there was a microcredit bubble in south India:
If I had had the stamina, I would have inserted into my book a chapter on the history of the microfinance movement.
On CGD's main blog, Julia Clark and I just posted a ranking of noted American think tanks based on their ability to generate public profile: press mentions, academic citations, web traffic, and social media followers. The effort is aimed at providing some healthy methodological competition for another ranking of think tanks, this one looking at institutions around the world, which experts have mostly criticized.
One popular statistical software package in academia is Stata. CGD has always used it, and thus so have I. As my colleague Mead Over pointed out, Stata's business model is an interesting mix of private and public goods provision. The private corporation profits by cultivating a public free-software community on top of its core product. Stata sells you the main program, which includes commands to perform all sorts of analyses.
Last Thursday and Friday I attended a symposium on "Microfinance 3.0" hosted by the German Development Bank (KfW) in Berlin. KfW was created under the Marshall Plan to finance the reconstruction of West Germany and to this day lends primarily within the borders of Germany. I was told its portfolio is worth €500 billion.
If you're in town, you might like the Christmas Revels show. My English sword dance group has a number near the end, and I'll probably join a few other dance bits. Here's some video from the 2008 show. My group, Cutting Edge, appears at 1:04. I don't know if what we're doing looks hard, but it is! Shows are the coming two weekends. Tickets here.
Apparently a spot has opened up in senior management at a major microcredit and development organization in Bangladesh. Here's the "help wanted" ad recently placed in the Daily Star to fill the position (HT Todd Bernhardt of the Grameen Foundation). Maybe you can figure out which organization is hiring? Maybe you know someone who fits the description?