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View Diary: Microcredit: be a Venture Capitalist. (185 comments)

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  •  Micro-credit (4.00)
    is one of the most important tools in lifting people out of poverty.
    •  Come on let's not exaggerate (4.00)
      Tax Policy, trade policy, education, fair credit laws, labor laws etc., all are huge parts of the puzzle of which micro-credit is just one piece.

      "The more they spoke of honor, the more I checked my wallet."

      by bankbane on Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 07:05:52 AM PDT

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      •  no shit (none)
        that is why Sterling said is ONE of the most important tools
        •  I object to "one of the most important" (none)
          Because that modifier is so divorced from the reality of what actually controls economic development in Third World countries. This is emblematic of a historical problem with progressive action in this country. Instead of dirtying our hands by effectively working to change, regulate, control and harness existing institutions, we have people with short attention spans, unwilling to study the history of an issue, who develop new "pure" organizations that for the most part remain marginalized and marginally effective except for the few which succeed and are soon deemed to be tainted and sell-outs by the new generation of "progressives" who have the "new" great ideas.

          Kiva may be a very good organization and it may be doing good things but the fact is that few if any of the people who have been proclaiming this the greatest thing since sliced bread know shit about the organization. For all we know they could be just another version of the Nigerian Prince scam artist emailers.

          If someone were to post a diary here asking for help to increase the Community Development Financial Institutions funding in the FY06 budget this year from $54 million to $80 million (Money that by and large goes to provide micro-lending in this country) they would get a yawn and a dozen comments if they were lucky, because that would be nitty-gritty, ambiguous get-your-hands-dirty political lobbying of politicians who have been declared corrupt and sell-outs because they didn't vote the way we wanted them to vote a few times.

          Let me tell you how I really feel!

          "The more they spoke of honor, the more I checked my wallet."

          by bankbane on Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 02:17:41 PM PDT

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          •  Oh look! A parade! (4.00)
            Guess I better rain on it...
            •  I don't rain on Mardi Gras (none)
              Just on Mardi Gras pretending to be progressive activism

              "The more they spoke of honor, the more I checked my wallet."

              by bankbane on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 08:10:45 PM PDT

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              •  Riiiight. (none)
                Because loaning money to a guy in Uganda who wants to start a fishmonger business so he can feed his children is SUCH a phony baloney thing to do.

                What an ass.

                •  As someone who works for an organization (none)
                  that provides micro loans in the US and has spent over twenty years working on making credit available for the underserved, I would laugh off your comments and move on, if they didn't illustrate a big problem that we progressives have in the blogosphere.  

                  If you follow my comments through this diary you will see that I support the idea of micro-lending; what I objected to was the exaggeration and gullibility about what was being portrayed as a  new idea. About 30 years ago Grameen Bank pioneered the concepts that Kiva seems to be building on. Almost 4 million of Bangladesh's 150 million people are active borrowers from Grameen Bank. 95% of those borrowers are women and they represent the most rural, poorest people in Bangladesh.

                  Yet I doubt that few of even the most passionate supporters of Grameen would claim that microlending is one of the most important economic forces in Bangladesh, when compared to education, trade policies and other macroeconomic forces. Grameen has done excellent sustained work that has reached a significant portion of the country's population and yet Bangladesh remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

                  In contrast to Grameen with a proven track record, an independent board of directors, audited financials statements that any one can look at, Kiva is not yet incorporated, nor does it have 501 (c) 3 status, or any indication of who the board of directors are; just a good web site and some compelling stories. In addition Kiva's tweak on the Grameen model raises questions about whether this is really a sustainable effort, or one that will quickly fade away once they stop being able to attact new donor/lenders.  That's OK because everybody has to start somewhere and innovation helps us learn.

                  But we're in serious trouble if the comments on this diary are a fair representation of the blogger world's knowledge base on these issues, their historical sense and their ability to do critical thinking. Then we're doomed to watch bloggers with the attention span of rabbits lurch around chasing the latest fads instead of building and developing a solid movement with real historically rooted political and economic skills.

                  "The more they spoke of honor, the more I checked my wallet."

                  by bankbane on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 06:11:47 AM PDT

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