Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived
A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?
Update: seemingly not
Update: Oh yeah!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Confidential to MY
Do you really want to go there? It wasn't so long ago, you know.
One doesn't want to be too mean about Grameen, because their heart is in the right place, (albeit their bank is in a very different place on the Bangladeshi income scale than it used to be pre- the massive restructuring in 2001, a fact which is not always made clear in publicity material). But they really do have a strong habit of overselling their projects. Sobi Rani, the woman quoted in the article "'gets' the basis of successful banking". How much does she get it? She sells yoghurt door to door, that's how much she gets the basis of successful banking. Well, she doesn't actually sell yoghurt any more because the yoghurt didn't taste very nice, but there's a profitable Grameen yoghurt business now and she's involved in it. Well, maybe it's not profitable, but it's been redesigned and it's going to be all over the country! Well, it might not get distribution right away, but they're still growing and opening up factories. Well, they're not actually opening up any more factories, but if the sales get better and they solve all the problems and make a profit, then they might. But at least it's Bangladeshi people helping themselves. Well, Danone is doing most of the managing at the moment, but anyway, the point is, ADVANTAGE: GRAMEEN! In your face, capitalism and foreign aid! Microfinance rules!
I mean, give me a break here. After 33 years since Grameen was set up, Bangladesh is still a desperately poor country. The time for pretending that you had a silver bullet is long gone. Microfinance schemes probably have a role in the world, but it doesn't seem obvious at all to me that the planning of aid and development in Bangladesh ought to be built round the marketing material of one particular organisation.
In memoriam Daniel Pearl, by the way, who died seven years and just under three weeks ago.
this item posted by the management 2/18/2009 09:43:00 AM