Kathleen Hagen's Reviews > Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus
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Feb 27, 11

bookshelves: 2011-audio-books, 2011-nonfiction
Read in February, 2011

Banker to the Poor: micro lending and the battle against poverty, by Muhammad Yunus, narrated by Ray Porter, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from audible.com.

Professor Yunus was an economics professor teaching at a university in what is now known as Bangladesh. In the late ‘70’s, he came to the conclusion that his students needed more hands-on experience in the economics of being poor. He discovered that the very poorest people, mostly women, could never get beyond being poor because no one would lend them money. The banks could have loaned them a minuscule amount, and they would have been able to avoid the money-lenders who charged such outrageous interest, but the banks told Yunus that since the people couldn’t fill out the paperwork and had no collateral, they couldn’t have loans. Anyway, the poor had no skills or training, the banks and economic professors said, and therefore would be unable to pay the money back. Since he couldn’t convince the banks or the government to provide help without also giving him unwanted strings, he quit his job as a professor and became a banker for the poor. Starting in the 1970’s and still going 30 years later, Yunus has set up banks specifically for the poor, and the idea has spread through the developing nations. Almost always the debts are totally repaid. The very poor have nowhere else to go to get money, so they pay back the debts, faster and more completely than debtors from regular banks. It’s a fascinating book following the evolution of Yunus’ ideas and the success of his micro-lending theories. This book was first published in 1996, then updated and republished in 2003. Yunus received the Nobel Peace prize in 2007 for his work. Ray Porter does a wonderful job of narrating this book. He uses just the right intonations to make it seem as if Professor Yunus is right in the room conversing with you.

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