Economics Muhammad Yunus Banker to the Poor

ISBN 13: 9780143102915

Banker to the Poor

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9780143102915: Banker to the Poor

In 1983, Muhammad Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with miniscule loans. Based on the belief that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a few, Grameen Bank now provides over 2.5 billion dollars of micro-loans to more than two million families in rural Bangladesh. Ninety-four percent of Yunus's clients are women, and repayment rates are nearly 100 percent. It was an idea born on a day in 1976 when he loaned $27 from his own pocket to forty-two stool makers living in a tiny village. Banker to the Poor is Muhammad Yunus's memoir of how he changed his life to help the world's poor. In it he traces the journey that led him to rethink the economic relationship between rich and poor and recounts the challenges he and his colleagues faced in founding Grameen.

Blackstone Audio's narration of Banker to the Poor won an AudioFile Earphones Award (2008) and was a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award (2008).

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Review:

It began with a simple $27 loan. After witnessing the cycle of poverty that kept many poor women enslaved to high-interest loan sharks in Bangladesh, Dr. Muhammad Yunus lent money to 42 women so they could purchase bamboo to make and sell stools. In a short time, the women were able to repay the loans while continuing to support themselves and their families. With that initial eye-opening success, the seeds of the Grameen Bank, and the concept of microcredit, were planted.

After earning a Ph.D. in economics at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Yunus returned to Bangladesh to settle into a life as a professor. But a famine in 1974 ravaged the country, leading Dr. Yunus to alter his thinking and his life profoundly: "What good were all my complex theories when people were dying of starvation on the sidewalks and porches across from my lecture hall?.... Nothing in the economic theories I taught reflected the life around me." Armed with little more than a lofty dream to end the suffering around him, he started an experimental microcredit enterprise in 1977; by 1983 the Grameen Bank was officially formed.

The idea behind the Grameen Bank is ingeniously simple: extend credit to poor people and they will help themselves. This concept strikes at the root of poverty by specifically targeting the poorest of the poor, providing small loans (usually less than $300) to those unable to obtain credit from traditional banks. At Grameen, loans are administered to groups of five people, with only two receiving their money up front. As soon as these two make a few regular payments, loans are gradually extended to the rest of the group. In this way, the program builds a sense of community as well as individual self-reliance. Most of the Grameen Bank's loans are to women, and since its inception, there has been an astonishing loan repayment rate of over 98 percent.

Banker to the Poor is an inspiring memoir of the birth of microcredit, written in a conversational tone that makes it both moving and enjoyable to read. The Grameen Bank is now a $2.5 billion banking enterprise in Bangladesh, while the microcredit model has spread to over 50 countries worldwide, from the U.S. to Papua New Guinea, Norway to Nepal. Ever optimistic, Yunus travels the globe spreading the belief that poverty can be eliminated: "...the poor, once economically empowered, are the most determined fighters in the battle to solve the population problem; end illiteracy; and live healthier, better lives. When policy makers finally realize that the poor are their partners, rather than bystanders or enemies, we will progress much faster that we do today." Dr. Yunus's efforts prove that hope is a global currency. --Shawn Carkonen

About the Author:

Muhammad Yunus was born in 1940 in Chittagong, a seaport in Bangladesh. The third of fourteen children, five of whom died in infancy, he was educated at Dhaka University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University. In 1972 he became the head of the economics department at Chittagong University. He is the founder and managing director of the Grameen Bank. Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

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Book Description Penguin Books India, 2007. Softcover. Book Condition: New. ?It?s not people who aren?t credit-worthy. It?s banks that aren?t people-worthy? ?Muhammad Yunus Muhammad Yunus, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, set up the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh to lend tiny sums to the poorest of the poor, who were shunned by ordinary banks. The money would enable them to set up the smallest village enterprise and pull themselves out of poverty. Today, Yunus?s system of ?micro-credit? is practised in some sixty countries, and his Grameen Bank is a billion-pound business acknowledged by world leaders and the World Bank as a fundamental weapon in the fight against poverty. Banker to the Poor is Yunus?s own enthralling story: of how Bangladesh?s terrible 1974 famine underlined the need to enable its victims to grow more food; of overcoming scepticism in many governments and in traditional economic thinking; and of how micro-credit was extended into credit unions in the West. Printed Pages: 336. Bookseller Inventory # 22467

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Book Description Penguin Books India, 2007. Softcover. Book Condition: New. ‘It’s not people who aren’t credit-worthy. It’s banks that aren’t people-worthy’ â€"Muhammad Yunus Muhammad Yunus, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, set up the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh to lend tiny sums to the poorest of the poor, who were shunned by ordinary banks. The money would enable them to set up the smallest village enterprise and pull themselves out of poverty. Today, Yunus’s system of ‘micro-credit’ is practised in some sixty countries, and his Grameen Bank is a billion-pound business acknowledged by world leaders and the World Bank as a fundamental weapon in the fight against poverty. Banker to the Poor is Yunus’s own enthralling story: of how Bangladesh’s terrible 1974 famine underlined the need to enable its victims to grow more food; of overcoming scepticism in many governments and in traditional economic thinking; and of how micro-credit was extended into credit unions in the West. Printed Pages: 336. Bookseller Inventory # 22467

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