Gabe'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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's review
Sep 06, 2009

really liked it
Read in September, 2009

In ‘Banker to the Poor’ Muhammad Yunus tells the inspiring story of how he has helped hundreds of thousands of people lift themselves out of poverty by establishing the Grameen Bank. Grameen lends micro-credit (very small loans) to the poorest of the poor without requiring collateral. In lieu of collateral, Grameen requires that its borrowers adhere to a strict set of rules. Yunus explains that these rules help borrowers develop the personal confidence and community infrastructure they need to succeed, and he fills his book with statistics and personal stories to back this up.

Towards the end of the book- during pauses in my reading, removed from Yunus’ elegant prose and heartwarming stories- I realized (with disappointment) that Yunus is a proud capitalist. He champions the free-market, arguing that the only thing that has kept capitalism from working is that the poor have not been allowed to participate in it fully and he champions micro-lending, arguing that it can act as the free-market’s great equalizer and help capitalism fulfill its potential. Yunus envisions a world where all are free to be capitalists and where investment capital is extended to those who want to pursue personal profit as much as to those who want pursue nobler, social enterprises.

I am not surprised that I was eventually turned-off by Yunus’ gospel because I have always sided with George Orwell’s gospel: power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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06/01 marked as: read

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