[p2p-research] The failure of micro-credit?

Ryan Lanham rlanham1963 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 24 15:41:47 CEST 2009


I concur with all you say...could have written it.  I too am puzzled by
Sam's response but it is consistent with the Yale research.  I am currently
scratching my head hoping Grameen and the now thousands of other
microfinance organizations step up to respond.  It is a profound challenge.
I spend a portion of almost every day making microfinance loans.  It would
hurt deeply to find such work is not only not helpful, but is indeed
hurtful.  I find it hard to believe...along lines you suggest, but that is
the current and loudest research finding on the topic from a top scholar and
a respected institution.

I literally don't know how to respond.  I have traded messages with Africans
who have found their loans to be transformative...the possibility to thrive
and get out of poverty.  How can this be?


On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 9:28 PM, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004 at gmail.com>wrote:

> hi Sam,
> I'm puzzled by your 'total' opposition to credit. Even most monetary
> reformers/transformers recognize the difference between turnover credit, and
> investment credit. They usually say the problem is that contemporary money
> conflates them, and that a proper separation is better. In fact, people like
> Thomas Greco advocate, convincingly that a mutual credit clearing system
> would be much superior to the current money system.
> I don't think the bangladeshi women would have access to any pools in the
> first place ... However, they could issue their own currency/credit clearing
> system for their own exchanges, bypassing the need for 'bank's and
> debt-based money.
> I've never seen microfinance as a panacea, but from the documentaries I
> have seen, there is a huge boost in the dignity and collective identity of
> those particpating, at least in the good schemes. Isn't the problem that
> microfinance has become commercial, with outfits such as in mexico now
> asking interest that is even higher than normal banks?
> Michel
> On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 11:32 PM, Samuel Rose <samuel.rose at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Ryan wrote:
>> >Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 11:11:47 -0500
>> >From: Ryan Lanham <rlanham1963 at gmail.com>
>> >Subject: [p2p-research] The failure of micro-credit?
>> >To: Peer-To-Peer Research List <p2presearch at listcultures.org>
>> >Message-ID:
>>        <9134ad230908230911l2d535155n36ee5bef301a8934 at mail.gmail.com
>> >>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>> >Editorial note:  I am big advocate for micro-credit.  I am saddened by
>> this
>> >study, but cannot disprove its findings. One big P2P ideas seems
>> inherently
>> >flawed.
>> >
>> http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2009/08/does-microlending-really-help-the-poor.html
>> >Ryan
>> I have to agree with this. All the way back in 2005-2006 when
>> BarCampBank http://www.barcampbank.org project first really took off,
>> I was one of the only people advocating against debt-creating
>> mechanisms (like micro lending).
>> Resource pooling, coupled with targeted investment are the way to go,
>> if money is to be involved. A pool of money could be created, which
>> could then pay out when projects meet and sustain a criteria that is
>> defined by the investing group. This is similar to C.A. Fitts "solari"
>> model. The investing group could work this similar to "bounties". Or,
>> could take a different approach with impoverished people and lower the
>> barrier to encourage community cooperation towards co-creation of
>> local basic needs infrastructure.
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