The International Writers
Poor Always Pay Back: The Grameen II Story (Paperback)
by Asif Dowla & Dipal Barua
Capitalism for the Poor: Credit as a Human
"Credit is so important in the lives of all people that I
have been arguing that credit should be accepted as a human right."
- Muhammad Yunus
Yunus stance on economics and capitalism shakes the traditional
role of capitalism to its very foundation; he is the winner of
the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Grameen Bank. His
views on the extirpation of poverty are progressive if not radical.
However, his methods seem to be doing the job.
Grameen Bank (GB) has reversed conventional banking practice
by removing the need for collateral and creating a banking system based
on mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity. GB is a
cost effective weapon to fight poverty and it serves as a catalyst in
the over all development of socio-economic conditions of the poor who
have been kept outside the banking orbit on the grounds that they are
unbankable. (Excerpt from Muhammas Yunus web-site www.muhammadyunus.org)
The evolution of Grameen Bank (Grameen means rural or village
in Bangla language) began with a project initiated by Yunus back in 1976.
The idea was to catechize the possibility of designing a credit delivery
system to provide banking services focused on the poor with the following
-extend banking facilities to poor men and women.
-eliminate the exploitation of the poor by money lenders
-create opportunities for self-employment for the vast multitudes of the
unemployed in rural Bangladesh
-bring the disadvantaged, mostly women from the poorest households, within
the fold of an organizational format which they can understand and manage
-reverse the age-old vicious circle of low income, low saving and
low investment into a virtuous circle of low income, injection
of credit, more income, more savings, more investment, more income
The very idea that the poor should or even can be helped is one that doesnt
digest easily when first taken in; we have become so accustomed to the
capitalist propaganda that has been fed to us since birth its difficult
to comprehend anything else. Yunus challenges the status quo from multiple
dimensions and directions; his insistence that the eradication of poverty
is actually a simple task, that the institutions and the policy-makers
have created poverty which goes against the usual poverty is created
by the poor, and the posture that
with opportunities created by the state the poor can get themselves out
of a life of poverty, name a few. In other words, a lack of opportunities
for earning income is the direct cause of poverty.
Grameen is a bank for the poor, it is owned by the poor, and it operates
with their own money. It makes a profit, it provides insurance support
to them, and it provides financial incentives for the education of their
children. Over 90% of Grameens borrowers are women, as a result
these women have become more independent, raised their social status,
and improved their homes and the nutritional standards of their children.
Despite the thought that the poor would not be in a position to repay
their loans, they have. In fact repayment rates have reached 97%.
If that isnt capitalism at its most successful, Im not sure
what the definition of success is.
Grameen Bank's positive impact on its poor and formerly poor borrowers
has been documented in many independent studies carried out by external
agencies including the World Bank, the International Food Research Policy
Institute (IFPRI) and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies
All information, much of which is copied verbatim, was taken from the
Please show your support by visiting his site and spreading the news that
you have found a capitalist who isnt a pig! Or buy the book 'The
Poor Always Pay Back' and explore in depth all that he has achieved
- so far.
Ginette Ballard March 2007
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