Milford Bateman

Microcredit doesn’t work – it’s now official

September 20, 2011

1The concept of microcredit — tiny microloans used to help establish or expand income-generating informal microenterprises — was for most of the last 30 years seen by the international development community to be the perfect self-help answer to poverty, unemployment and under-development. Thanks to the passion and practical work of Bangladeshi economist, Dr Muhammad Yunus, Bangladesh effectively became the global ‘test-bed’ for the microcredit concept. Great things were promised.

Muhammad Yunus famously announced that poverty would be eradicated in a generation, and the very notion of poverty itself would soon be ‘consigned to a museum’ to which our children would have to go on study tours to see what all the fuss was about. With such hugely seductive and supposedly successful forms of ‘capitalism by and for the poor’ on offer, the key international development institutions, and the US government and World Bank in particular, fell over themselves to finance the idea of microcredit. The global microcredit movement was up and running very fast indeed.

Unfortunately, after nearly 30 years of global experience in the field, it is now quite clear that Dr Yunus has turned out to be spectacularly wrong. A growing number of independent analysts and institutions, and even long-standing supporters of microcredit, now accept that this is indeed the case.

(http://www.booksforchange.info/Pop-Why%20Doesnt%20Microfinance.html)

Consider the latest ‘microfinance meltdown’ that recently took place in neighbouring India, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Extensive deregulation, combined with the manifest greed and aggressive ‘get rich quick’ attitudes of the key individuals running the main microcredit institutions, unleashed a Wall Street/sub-prime-style trajectory that in less than a decade drove the microfinance industry into the wall. Some individuals, like Vikram Akula, became spectacularly rich thanks to their attachment to the microcredit industry; but for the poor, especially those now massively over-indebted, it has largely been a case of ‘all pain, and no gain’.

http://indian-microfinance-future.com/

So why is it that the microcredit industry, from the Grameen Bank onwards, has not generated a positive long-run local economic development impact? History pretty conclusively shows that successful local economic development is actually most likely built upon an expanding base of scaled-up growth-oriented small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that, among other things, can adopt and develop important technologies, innovations and organisational routines, and which together can productively interact with other enterprises and organisations through vertical subcontracting and horizontal networking and clustering arrangements.

http://www.amazon.com/Things-They-Dont-About-Capitalism/dp/1608191664

However, those communities in developing countries that pursued and then achieved the ‘holy grail’ of the microcredit movement – every poor individual can very easily access a microloan if they want one – have encountered a quite different history. Rather than experiencing local economic success, they were condemned instead to a wasteful and unproductive process of microenterprise entry and exit, an increasingly embedded informalisation dynamic, hyper-competition and self-exploitation (especially involving women in poverty) leading to progressively lower volumes, margins, wages and incomes in the microenterprise sector, rising personal over-indebtedness, and a dangerously mushrooming culture of violence within the growing community of micro-entrepreneurs all made increasingly desperate for clients in order to survive. Put simply, it is in underpinning these mutually destructive local development trajectories that (more) microcredit actually frustrates the attempt to construct a successful local economy over the longer term.

For perhaps the saddest reflection of this adverse microcredit-driven process at work in Asia, we need look no further than to Bangladesh itself, and especially to the iconic village of Jobra near Chittagong. Jobra is, of course, the location for Muhammad Yunus’ pioneering Grameen Bank, and so the effective starting point for the global microcredit movement. But in spite of an unparalleled availability of microcredit since the late 1970s, Jobra and its neighbouring villages very much remain mired in deep poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment. The tiny informal microenterprises that have been helped into operation simply cannot expand or innovate, nor can they productively interact to form a local economy with the potential to sustainably grow. Instead, the informal microenterprises established are all far too tiny and too weak, and faced with far too much competition from other microenterprises operated by others equally poor, to do anything other than barely survive.

Most informal microenterprises simply collapse after a few months or years. Importantly, failure often means the hapless micro-entrepreneur loses his/her savings, household equipment, land and other assets in the process of failing (or being forced to repay a microloan with no income). An unwise step into microenterprise activities thus all too often strips a poor family of its accumulated financial, physical and social assets, leaving them in a situation of irretrievable and dire poverty. Moreover, a new social problem haunts Jobra and its surrounding villages thanks to the ubiquity of microcredit – growing levels of personal over-indebtedness.

It is also a long-running tragedy that SMEs in Bangladesh have largely failed to get any support from the local financial system. Locally mobilised funds are increasingly channelled into informal and largely unproductive local microenterprises and self-employment. More recently, and even worse, these funds are going into consumption spending as well, an end use that has even less impact on the local economy than informal business activities and has also resulted in the recent over-indebtedness phenomenon in Bangladesh. The inexorable expansion of microcredit and informal microenterprises in Bangladesh, just as we recently confirmed in the Western Balkans,

(http://www.kpbooks.com/Books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=236319) inevitably absorbs the financial resources and policymaker attention that might otherwise have been directed towards supporting the crucial SME sector.

Importantly, effective confirmation that microcredit has had no visible positive impact this last 30 years came last month, in the form of a UK government funded systematic review of microfinance – ‘What is the Evidence of the Impact of Microfinance on the Well-being of Poor People?’ This document provides the most comprehensive refutation to date of the many heady claims made on behalf of the microcredit model by its international development community supporters, and by Muhammad Yunus. The conclusion reached by the review team is an explosive one – ‘(the) current enthusiasm (for microfinance) is built on (..) foundations of sand’ (page 75). After 30 years since the microcredit movement was founded, the review team essentially found NO concrete evidence to confirm that microcredit has had an overall positive impact.

(Microcredit is a mirage, says UK study, http://bdnews24.com/details.php?id=203518&cid=2)

So, while perhaps well-meaning, it is now perfectly clear that Muhammad Yunus and his band of international development community supporters got it all wrong. The sour reality is that sustainable local economic development trajectories have everywhere been undermined thanks to the expansion of microcredit. In place of failed Yunus-style microcredit and informal microenterprise myths, we now urgently need to rediscover and revalidate the role of the SME sector.

To do this we need to underpin the various forms of community-owned and controlled financial institutions that we know from recent history can best support SMEs, notably financial cooperatives, credit unions, building societies, social venture capital funds and local/regional development banks. Making these changes will inevitably prove to be a difficult task everywhere, and it will require much more soul-searching, foot-dragging, reluctant career-changes, and additional financial resources too.

But the alternative of dogmatically continuing forward with the failed Grameen Bank-style microcredit model is surely now, more than ever, no longer a realistic option.

____________
Dr Milford Bateman is a freelance consultant, Professor of Economics and the author of ‘Why Doesn’t Microfinance Work? The Destructive Rise of Local Neoliberalism.

Tags: , , ,

WARNING: Any unauthorised use or reproduction of bdnews24.com content for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited and constitutes copyright infringement liable to legal action.
| | More
----------------------------------------------------------------------
(The opinions expressed below are those of the writer's and do not necessarily reflect that of bdnews24.com. bdnews24.com accepts no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for the accuracy or content of member comments.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------

31 Responses to “ Microcredit doesn’t work – it’s now official ”

  1. Arun Kumar DAs on September 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    It is also official that so many micro-enterprises are running well with the help of microcredit. But I think it should have some stages according to the socio-economic status of the community/beneficiary/group.

    Till now this is like the ’stick of a blind person’ for the poor/vulnerable/downtrodden. If we calculate the prorata basis output of both MICRO & MACRO credit then obviously it is more and more than MICRO credit.

    • Tristan on October 8, 2011 at 3:44 am

      You Kabuliwalas in all ways want to keep up your business running, please don’t deny that! It’s your stable business now in Bangladesh and trying to establish it in many other countries. It’s the main objective of all businessmen to expand the business to grow profit.

      In fact the poor people of Bangladesh need the small loan for their activities of survival, no problem with that. But why do you lie? Why you remark facetious on the philosophy? It has no relations with the peace that can make eligible to be prized by the Nobel peace Prize!

      Why do you try to get involved in politics by riding on this lie? It’s not the honesty of a professor of economic!

  2. Yamuna Jamal on September 24, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    If true, why did it take so many years to come to this disposition, any idea? Aren’t you spiting along the direction of the wind?

    • Tristan on October 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      As for your comment, if you actually want to know about Grameen Bank as well as microcredit and the NGOs working in Bangladesh, you can read many of Badruddin Umar’s articles on the issue. The man, in fact the only man with some other fellows in Bangladesh theoretically dismissed Yunus’ claim from the very beginning of microcredit’s operation in Bangladesh as a tool to alleviate poverty from our society and tremendously endured all the berates and other form of torture all these years.

      Nowadays, Mr. Bateman finds strong evidence in hand to write such an article and published for a Bangladesh based audience as the British Government recently conducted an in-depth research on the issue and declared that microcredit doesn’t work as a tool to eliminate poverty.

      But Badruddin Umar had none of this kind of support all throughout these years; rather he confronted a very strong and united opponent in Bangladesh all these years.

      If you had the information about his article as a Bangladeshi, you can’t comment like this!

  3. milford bateman on September 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Afsan Chowdhury

    Mr Chowdhury is a former senior employee of BRAC, so I would not have expected him to give an objective assessment of this article or of microcredit. Anyway, in the comments I made in response to previous comments, I answered all the points he then went on raise.

    Milford

  4. Mohiuddin Ahmed on September 23, 2011 at 6:29 am

    All these debates I think will continue until poverty is uprooted from our society. But honestly could I please raise some simple questions as a mere citizen of Bangladesh that, why the general people of Bangladesh criticise Muhammad Yunus in a very simple way in their language? These people are not the expert, not the economist nor do they understand the politics. In fact, these mass people are relatively connected to those rural people, whom Muhammad Yunus as per his claim, took out of poverty by giving them a series of tiny loans.

    It’s a surprise that all the supporters of Muhammad Yunus are middle and upper class people of the society who don’t need any tiny loan from the Grameen Bank for the purpose which Grameen Bank was set up! Also it is another surprise that the supporters of Muhammad Yunus never answer logically to the critic, rather they attack personally.

    The people ask the questions are very vital in aspect of morality and the ethos of Muhammad Yunus as well as Grameen Bank as an institution. Why Yunus claim his business as the business of Grameen Bank’s borrower? What kind of ownership the Grameen Bank borrowers enjoy? Why doesn’t the Bank come up with a white paper to bring the criticism to an end?

    Some say that, that day is not far away when the Grameen’s borrowers will gherao the Bank’s branches across the country and demand profit.

    There are many questions that need to be answered.

    • Mohammad Abdul Latif on October 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      Surprisingly, those middle and upper class people do not even have firsthand knowledge on Grameen Bank’s impact either.

      Regarding profit and share they (GB borrowers) know that they have given TK.100 to GB as membership subscription to get membership of the GB group to become eligible for loan sanction. They do not know when and how they have bought shares of GB and are not aware that they are the owners of the GB, let alone the issue of profit.

  5. afsan chowdhury on September 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Milford Bateman has been seriously criticised in spaces where MC is discussed. It’s interesting that these people may critique attempted solutions but never can come up with one. Of course, as a consultant, he doesn’t have to.

    Bateman has been accused of a very serious act which is manipulating evidence to suit his argument. I will not go into details but this is the kind of dishonesty that we could do without. Google Bateman and you will find. I wish bdnews24.com had done that too before publishing him with an inappropriate title.

    Nobody in their right mind would think of MC as a complete poverty alleviation package but it’s one of the many tools available. It’s a loan no matter what its supporters or critics say. A loan can’t take people out of poverty but it does allow many to sustain their condition and make some improvements. It doesn’t produce mass exit from poverty but relief for most and exit for some.

    Loans are impersonal instruments and so the question of a loan regime being good or bad doesn’t arise. Is anyone suggesting that the poor can’t take loans?

    Both Yunus and the Bateman types are looking for a miracle or a one that failed in micro credit where none exists. A realistic assessment will show that it is exactly that, a loan system serving a client group that has no access to credit which they need.

    Western critics’ attitude to micro-credit is that, if it’s not a total solution, it must be a total failure unlike eastern approaches which argues that many forms can leave together.

    Does the crash of 2008 means that the Western system of banking must go or has anyone suggested that loan giving is evil? Why insist on such absurdities only when it comes to the poor in the South?

    We should focus more on what our economists say rather than westerners, credibility or no credibility, as they have very little stake in our poverty alleviation. The western NGO model of village based development has now worked anywhere and we need to go to scale with every initiative since our poverty is all pervasive.

    Small is beautiful but big is necessary.

    • Omar Tarek Chowdhury on September 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Afsan Chowdhury was first against “Marxist” and “Mullah”.

      Now he is against “Consultant”.

      Can he mention any analysis of microcredit by a mullah — nationally or internationally? Nope. Just to discredit any criticism of microcredit, he has been equating Marxist to Mullah. isn’t it?

      A brave radical he is.

      Is he against DFID? I don’t know his reaction to DFID’s recent report on microcredit reported by bdnews24.com.

      What is Afsan Chowdhury’s credential? I don’t see him mentioning that he used to work with the UNICEF as its public relations official of its immunization program, and as the Director of Advocacy (again a sort of PR job), of big microcredit player BRAC. We don’t know his indirect relationship with others like Grameen Bank and donor agencies.

      So, Afsan is not a neutral “journalist” or “academic” as he likes to present himself to his audience.

      Indeed, he reserves the right to label Badruddin Umar as ‘Mulla’ and Milford Bateman as ‘Consultant’.

      Unofficial PR person enjoys some advantages!

    • Mohammad Abdul Latif on October 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      Mr. Afsan,
      You have said that nobody in their right mind would think of microcredit as a complete poverty alleviation package but it’s one of the many tools available. Did Dr. Yunus and his Western mentors say the same thing before?

      It sounds funny when you say, ‘We should focus more on what our economists say rather than the Westerners.’ It is the Westerners who certified microcredit as a magic tool for poverty alleviation and Dr. Yunus gleaned the blessing from the Westerners.

      • Jiban on October 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm

        Yunus has no that intellectual ability to be mentored by the westerners! Rather he is a puppet and has been played by them! He’s already showed that to his followers in Bangladesh. The followers of Yunus in Bangladesh are very much upset and disgusted at him in these days for his ludicrous act during the previous caretaker government period. They are now looking for an intellectual alternative for which Yunus failed to play.

  6. Rezwan on September 22, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    If microcredit doesn’t work, then explain how the rate of poverty has been declining gradually in Bangladesh? Microcredit has been one of the factors that contributed in efforts to reduce poverty. By the way, why not shut down WB and IMF? They have been failing to get the World out of the global economic recession.

  7. milford bateman on September 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Some interesting and well-meaning comments; some silly comments from the usual suspects.

    Jiban

    I can’t comment on the sincerity of Dr Yunus at the start of the Grameen Bank experiment. But later on, it really does appear that the initial motivations and concern were lost as the microfinance model became an international phenomenon. Then, there was much more concern for managing the PR side, and not entering into real discussion as to whether the microfinance model worked or not to eradicate poverty. I think this was self-destructive, however. After all, if you are genuinely interested in poverty reduction and many people are saying your chosen method seems not to be working, surely you should want to find out why, what are their ideas, what is going wrong, explore other options, etc. What seems to have happened instead is that research and discussion is aggressively blocked, the PR activities are re-doubled, and lots of well-meaning critics (like myself) are personally attacked and smeared by the main microfinance institutions and their increasingly venal advocacy bodies. I have had a lot of feedback from researchers wanting to work in Jobra, for instance, and they found themselves in real trouble if they did not go through the ‘approved channels’ – you know who they are! – to find microfinance clients to interview.

    Finally, anyone who has followed the sad downfall of Greg Mortenson of ‘Three Cups of Tea’ fame – a person who claimed to be wanting to help the poor and uneducated in Afghanistan, but instead seems to have set out simply to make himself very rich and very famous – will appreciate that, now more than ever, just because someone says ‘I want to help the poor’ that perhaps we need to recognise that there might be other motivations and goals in play here. In fact, I will argue in a paper I am writing that a new generation of ‘poverty faith healers’ has emerged this last two decades, all claiming to ‘want to help the poor’, but in reality they crave only fame and fortune.

    Md Shariful Islam + Duke
    Concluding that microfinance does not work is an important result in itself, just as finding out that a particular cancer drug actually makes the patient more ill. I do have some other ideas as to what really addresses poverty, and I outline these in my book. But even if I did not have any other ideas on this, it is enough of a contribution just to show that one particular solution does not work. Surely no-one would berate a scientist’s work exposing a failed drug for cancer on the basis that she had failed to come up with a real solution to cancer!

    Imon
    David Roodman works for the Centre for Global Development (CGD) and is a major supporter of microfinance. However, as he openly reports on his blog, his opinion on the efficacy of microfinance has been formed thanks to a). regular invitations by all the main advocacy bodies to look at their work, and b). close personal links with all the main individuals in the mainly Washington DC-based advocacy institutions. I’m not sure that this is a good way to genuinely assess the impact of microfinance on the poor, but that’s my opinion. Moreover, it is important that Mr Roodman openly admits that his own research work on microfinance (in conjunction with Jonathan Morduch) has not produced any really serious evidence that microfinance has important positive impacts.

    So I was expecting (and in fact was privately warned beforehand to expect) that Mr Roodman was going to come after me. However, his criticism of my book has been strangely relegated to very minor-issues and some personal smear, such as suggesting my writing style (‘use of the passive’) might foment violence! On the key issues that I raise when making the case against microfinance, however, he has (so far) refused to enter into any meaningful debate whatsoever. On the minor issues Mr Roodman raised, I pointed out on his blog right away, as well as in a subsequent public debate in Groningen at the European Microfinance Research conference, that he was demonstrably wrong on all these minor issues, with the possible exception of one issue – it seems after repaying the $27 of loans taken out by Jobra women with local moneylenders, Muhammad Yunus saw this as a loan to these women not a grant – I simply omitted to say that he extended this support as a loan, which Mr Roodman thought I should have made clear.

    Rather than have an honest debate about the problems and make far-reaching changes if necessary, the microfinance industry, and Mr Roodman in particular, choose to attack the messenger instead. I’m not sure that this is good for the poor. For a very good explanation of the issues check out Phil Mader’s blog on this:

    http://governancexborders.com/2010/09/13/beef-with-bateman-or-why-cant-the-microfinance-community-handle-criticism/

    Milford

  8. ra on September 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Agree with Islam, Zahir & Kazi and would like to echo Duke. We are getting a lot of nay-sayers but no one will provide the answer including Mr. Bateman.

    Mr. Bateman can I suggest a new book for you to write: “How to fool the world and borrow $14 Trillion and counting by selling the Macro Credit success story”?

    • Jiban on September 29, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      Mr Bateman doesn’t care for your jesting.

  9. abdullah on September 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

    So, Hasina’s action was correct. The media played a big role to make a Kabuliwala a messiah for the poor.

  10. Taj Hashmi on September 22, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Of course microcredit, of late glorified as “microfinance” by its Western promoters like the IMF, World Bank and other agents of exploitation of the Third World, is a scam, as are mega NGOs tools of exploiting the poor in the name of empowering them.

    I had some soft corner for Dr Yunus, despite his hyperboles about eradicating poverty (and sending it to museum) by 2030, not any more. He not only publicly lies in self-glorification but he also serves the interest of super rich exploiters in the West. He was directly instrumental in the transfer of millions of dollars from Bangladesh to Norway (illegally) as the Norwegian telephone company Telenor, which was a co-sponsor of Grameen Phone, did not pay any income tax to Bangladesh Government for more than ten years in the name of running a “Charity”. Any Economics 101 student would tell us that giving tax holiday to a profit-making company (Grameen Phone is not a Charity) is anything but corruption.

    Dr Yunus also wanted to hard hit Bangladeshi farmers by introducing Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds (paddy), which would eventually turn Bangladeshi farmers perpetually dependent on Monsanto as crops grown out of genetically modified seeds do not leave behind any seed (Dhan Beej) for farmers. Thanks to the public intervention of Indian eco-feminist Vandana Shiva, Dr Yunus could not introduce Monsanto seeds in Bangladesh. By the way, Monsanto has been a big promoter of Microcredit globally. Does it provide us any clue?

    Dr Bateman, please ignore the critics of your excellent essay. There are two types of people in Bangladesh who can’t stand any criticism of the Grameen-NGO Business: one group does so out of sheer ignorance and blind “patriotism” because Dr Yunus has uplifted Bangladesh’s image through the Nobel Prize; and the other group hate critics of the Grameen-NGO lobby as they make money as consultants/researchers at Grameen-NGO outlets. I have known so many Bangladeshi scholars, who privately condemn the Grameen-NGO lobby, but publicly glorify them for the obvious reason, money through consultancy and jobs with the mega exploiters of the poor, directly linked with Neo-Imperialism in the West.

    Enough is enough — we don’t have stomach for further deceptions and lies.

    Taj Hashmi
    Austin Peay State University, Tennessee

    • Mohammad Abdul Latif on October 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      Mr. Hashmi,
      Like you I also know some consultants/researchers who have been beneficiaries of GB. A professor of DU and very close to Dr. Yunus, made a comment (in 1995) that India and Israel did not want Dr. Yunus to get the Nobel prize and they were propagating against him. It is alleged that he made such a comment after reading an article that showed GB could not make any contribution to poverty alleviation.

  11. Md Kabirul Islam on September 22, 2011 at 3:15 am

    We can agree partially that microcredit does not work to reach its goal. So, what are the partial facts and issues to consider it partially; why not fully complied or accepted?

  12. Shahriar Sajib on September 21, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    As a PhD student, I recently had an opportunity to meet a world renowned social scientist from the UK and in reply of the question what are the frontiers of organisational studies he replied ‘poverty’, ’sustainability’ etc. I asked him whether they are seriously trying to develop something which can be contemplated as an effective tool to fight these issues or their aim is to contribute to the body of the knowledge. He could not give satisfactory answer.

    So, my conclusion about the issue is that it is unfortunate that we do not have intellectual guardians to defend our inventions, Zahir and Shariful accurately pointed the fact and I must echo the unfortunate truth that the western countries are trying to develop tools for making poverty more sustainable than ever to utilize the cheap labour forever, furthermore, ‘Microcredit’ failed to eradicate poverty reflects scale of the responsibility that the concept undertook and taking the blame of the existence of poverty alone .

    It is very surprising to me that how these experts fail to acknowledge the other critical variable which are affecting the increase in global poverty such as increasing population, war, etc. The fact is micro credit is the only tool to fight against poverty.

  13. Masud on September 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    What about all those studies with hundreds and thousands of pages still claiming it works? Which side is right? I guess it has become more of a political item to both schools of thought rather than taking it in a pure practical and applicable context. Claiming ‘official’ makes it a further rhetorical and ego-centric. I guess microcredit is yet to go a long way for us to derive a conclusion. And it should be looked at on a case to case, country to country, region to region basis. And bringing Mr. Yunus into the debate, to me, proves to be somewhat a witch-hunting campaign.

  14. Jiban on September 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    May we now raise the question about Muhammad Yunus’ intention regarding the claim that his work helped eradicate poverty from Bangladesh, at least to a large extent? My we now raise the question about the ground of his Nobel Peace Prize win? May we now raise the question about his honesty/sincerity about making those comments on poverty alleviation as a professor of economics? These questions are very important for the people who work for the poor globally!

    • Jiban on September 28, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      Actually the last sentence of my comment will be; these questions are very important for the people who pretend to work for the poor globally! Sorry for the mistake.

  15. Md.Shariful Islam on September 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    So microcredit doesn’t work! Very good, no problem with that. But what does work? How can we reduce poverty? Who will give loan to poor people? I hope I will get an answer to my queries.

  16. Zahir on September 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I am sorry to say but this new article is nothing but another number in the growing body of critiques of microfinance. These critiques with catchy titles are largely superficial innuendos, providing no evidence to prove their points. Microfinance in itself is not a sufficient condition for graduating from poverty, it is merely an enabling condition. Of course in a country with widespread and entrenched poverty it is not easy to eliminate poverty in over a decade or more simply with micro-finance while the country experiences corruption and poor governance of successive ruling parties and entrenched political goons who siphon state resources at will with impunity.

    The Indian example was totally uncalled for as they are not practicing microfinance (MF) but resorting to merely a scam to make money, no such example exists in Bangladesh, although some violations of basic ethos of MF exists here as well.

    Finally, no one denies SME development as another example of reducing poverty, but at what cost and what rate? Capital intensity for such ventures is far higher than MF per unit of income and employment creation that poor countries can ill afford. Without a better model of poverty reduction that is viable from all angles such critiques should tone down their criticism and devote more time in finding out how MF could be improved, linked with more upscaled versions of development strategies, etc.

    • Jiban on September 22, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      Mr. Zahir, could you please answer these questions; why the people world-wide criticize Muhummad Yunus? Why don’t you see the logic of the criticism? At what rate the poverty has been eliminated from Bangladesh by the microfinance by practicing all these 30 years? Why Yunus claim his (and his associates) businesses as poor people’s business? Where is that money (eighty millions per week) going which the borrowers been contributing all these years? What kind of peace he brought in Bangladesh or elsewhere in the world that makes him eligible for Nobel Peace Prize? Why did he try to grab state power in Bangladesh via back door?

      We know the people of Bangladesh is being oppressed and sucked by the political goons. But do you know the difference between these goons and Muhammad Yunus (with his associates)? These goons have some kind of link with the people, may be minimum, but Yunus has no link with the people rather he is linked with and nurtured by the enemy of people, the actual enemy of the people worldwide!

  17. Kgazi on September 21, 2011 at 2:32 am

    After 200 years of study and experience in the USA, we can similarly conclude that MACRO-credit does not work either.

    The results of MACRO-credit, as in large credit and loans given to US companies, have proven to be a massive failure, resulting in multiple recessions, $14 trillion unpaid debt, and near collapse of the US economy.

    Micro or macro, no economy works if you do myopic “studies”, but as a holistic approach to social and financial activity, both are necessary for human and national development.

  18. Duke on September 21, 2011 at 12:18 am

    What works then, Mr. Bateman?

    • Ali on September 23, 2011 at 1:13 am

      The writer has doubted the Nobel committee’s decision to award the prize.

      No ism has ever worked on its own, but by collective effort only. How many of us can get going with SMEs? We can instead now try to re-model MC to make it more workable by ‘evolution’.

  19. Partha Pratim on September 20, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    “Consider the latest ‘microfinance meltdown’ that recently took place in neighbouring India, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Extensive deregulation, combined with the manifest greed and aggressive ‘get rich quick’ attitudes of the key individuals running the main microcredit institutions, unleashed a Wall Street/sub-prime-style trajectory that in less than a decade drove the microfinance industry into the wall.” says it all – nothing to do with the concept but everything to do with people running the show.

  20. imon on September 20, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    To know Why Doesn’t Milford Bateman’s Book Work? pls read:

    http://blogs.cgdev.org/open_book/2010/08/why-doesnt-milford-batemans-book-work.php

Leave a Reply

Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wpburn.com wordpress themes

 

September 2011
S S M T W T F
« Aug   Oct »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930