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Friday, July 27, 2007

Banker to The Poor

BANKER TO THE POOR Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

Author: Muhammad Yunus
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 978-1-58648-198-8
Number of Pages: 288 pages

Winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize

This autobiography of the world-renowned, visionary economist who came up with a simple but revolutionary solution to end world poverty--micro-credit--has become the classic text for a growing movement.

Muhammad Yunus is that rare thing: a bona fide visionary. His dream is the total eradication of poverty from the world. In 1983, against the advice of banking and government officials, Yunus established Grameen, a bank devoted to providing the poorest of Bangladesh with minuscule loans. Grameen Bank, based on the belief that credit is a basic human right, not the privilege of a fortunate few, 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 near 100 percent. Around the world, micro-lending programs inspired by Grameen are blossoming, with more than three hundred programs established in the United States alone.

Banker to the Poor is Muhammad Yunus's memoir of how he decided to change his life in order to help the world's poor. In it he traces the intellectual and spiritual journey that led him to fundamentally rethink the economic relationship between rich and poor, and the challenges he and his colleagues faced in founding Grameen. He also provides wise, hopeful guidance for anyone who would like to join him in "putting homelessness and destitution in a museum so that one day our children will visit it and ask how we could have allowed such a terrible thing to go on for so long." The definitive history of micro-credit direct from the man that conceived of it, Banker to the Poor is necessary and inspirational reading for anyone interested in economics, public policy, philanthropy, social history, and business.

Muhammad Yunus was born in Bangladesh and earned his Ph.D. in economics in the United States at Vanderbilt University, where he was deeply influenced by the civil rights movement. He still lives in Bangladesh, and travels widely around the world on behalf of Grameen Bank and the concept of micro-credit.

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


Microcredit is not about money. It's about dignity. It's about opening doors... At Grameen Bank, we think of credit as a human right. The myth that credit is the privilege of a few fortunate people needs to be exploded. Credit can equip a dispossessed person to fight the economic odds. With massive unemployment and limited resources in developing countries, there are strong arguments for credit based on sound economic reasons. Access to credit must be a central part of any serious attack on poverty.

P/S: I bought this book at The Borders, Berjaya Times Square at RM58 only. Believe me, it is so impressive!


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