Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Being Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus' Grameen Bank has changed the lives of many poor people of Bangladesh through micro-financing. Today he will receive the highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal of Freedom. The White House released this announcement:

Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a global leader in anti-poverty efforts, and has pioneered the use of "micro-loans" to provide credit to poor individuals without collateral. Dr. Yunus, an economist by training, founded the Grameen Bank in 1983 in his native Bangladesh to provide small, low-interest loans to the poor to help better their livelihood and communities. Despite its low interest rates and lending to poor individuals, Grameen Bank is sustainable and 98% percent of its loans are repaid – higher than other banking systems. It has spread its successful model throughout the world. Dr. Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work.
With such sustainability and 98% of loans being repaid, maybe Wall Street should take notice. Of course, Yunus' model is not only profitable but serves its borrowers. Can Wall Street ever serve its borrowers when its modus operandi is essentially themselves?


DB said...

The answer to your last question is "No, unless they slip up and do it by accident, which is always a possibility."

Judith Ellis said...

But will the accident be sustainable, DB?