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Are banks people-worthy? May 8, 2008

Posted by davidzweig in Uncategorized.
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Marc Gunther is one of the best business writers around, and Muhammad Yunis is, reputationally, one of the best human beings around.

Here’s a great piece of reframing. In covering the Milken International Conference in LA in late April, Gunther says Yunus “stole the show.

Instead of worrying about whether “people are credit-worthy,” Yunus told the group, we should ask whether banks and other credit institutions are “people-worthy.” He talked about how Grameen recently began making loans to beggars, giving them about $10 or $12 each so they could but and then sell candy, snacks or small toys as they go from house to house. About 11,000 of them have been turned from beggars into door-to-door salesmen, and another 90,000 or so “are in the process of closing down their begging division,” he said.

“It will take them a bit of time,” he joked. “After all, begging was their core business.”

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