Since micro-credit is such a major part of our economy (the implications of which I will not go into here), some interesting blog posts and links courtesy of NextBillion.net, below.
“Despite the hoopla over microfinance, it doesn’t cure poverty. But stable jobs do. If societies are serious about helping the poorest of the poor, they should stop investing in microfinance and start supporting large, labor-intensive industries. At the same time, governments must hold up their end of the deal, for market-based solutions will never be enough.”
"It seems timely to revisit the need for scrutiny in the microfinance industry as it enters the mainstream and to hopefully broaden the debate beyond academic circles and development institutions. CGAP this month published a focus note analyzing the Compartamos IPO, essentially seeking to answer the question of whether the exceptionally high profits Compartamos has earned for its private shareholders can be justified for an organization that is supposed to have the social interests of its clients in mind. CGAP's answer, while not completely damning, is not a vindication for Compartamos either - they conclude that the NGO could have reasonably charged lower interest rates that would have decreased profits but allowed poor clients to keep more of their earnings."