The World's Greatest Hero

Muhammad Yunus, Banker to the World's Poorest Citizens
  • Article here

  • This is an interview with a man who started his career as a banker by loaning $24 to 8 people (in Bangladesh this is a lot of money). He offered these loans to the poorest people he could find. Making it a loan, to be paid back with interest, is a stroke of genius. Charity only helps for a moment but a loan allows someone to keep their pride, and the respect that is offered by someone who thinks you will be able, and honest enough, to pay it back is a big boon to self esteem, and allows people to continue to improve their lives by working hard.

    This is so refreshing in the USA where we have become a country that is all about corporate greed. The Republicans think trickle down is the way to grow an economy when the truth is it has to start from the ground up. In a capitalist society you need a lot of consumers with money in their pockets to spend, then the rich get richer too in the long run. The way things are now the rich have gotten a brief inflow of cash due to tax breaks but with the middle class actually losing earnings this will not continue as there will be less and less people able to buy the products of their businesses. George Bush remains frustrated that the middle class and the poor think the economy is bad, it's good for rich people and that's all he understands. I don't think poor people are real to him, and he has no concept of what it's like to work hard every day yet feel like you are only treading water and are one paycheck, or serious illness, from disaster.

    What Yunus has done is lift the poorest citizens just a bit and give them the means to keep increasing their quality of life. Most of his clients keep coming back for bigger and bigger loans as their ambitions grow and they see what is possible. I think he has done more to change the world for the better than any other human being, because lifting people out of poverty fixes many problems, not just one as pure charity would do.

    Not that charity isn't sometimes necessary but the effects of it are limited. And even more he has concentrated on giving loans to women because in his country women are completely left out of the loan process. Women are still highly repressed throughout the Middle East and financial power will lead to social equality.


    Village Green said...

    Muhammad Yunus is on to something really good. It doesn't look like the old ways of doing things. It's not socialism and its not exactly capitalism. Maybe it is the best of both worlds.

    KevinBBG said...

    I would say it is capitalism and showing all the best things of the system. He came up with a new idea and filled a niche no one else was covering and he made money at it. He went against conventional wisdom and succeeded. And, as it turns out, his poor people pay back their loans more reliably than the rich people a regular bank would go to.

    Victoria Baxter said...

    Hi: I had the honor of interviewing Professor Yunus a few weeks ago. Check out my two video installments with the Nobel Peace Prize winner. (He was so eloquent, we had to make two videos!!)

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=6lya8f8RAag and http://youtube.com/watch?v=2H0PEle9G0U