Friday 27 February 2009

the opposite bank

Last night the Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus told his audience at the Royal Geographical Society that the approach he took when setting up the Grameen Bank was to look at what every other bank was doing and then do exactly the opposite.

Impossible not to compare two bankers - Sir Fred Goodwin and Mohammad Yunus - two world views: one that works, one that doesn't.

There's something almost Wildean about Yunus's stories. He overturns the assumptions by which a society operates. The Grameen Bank has loaned money to tens of 1000s of beggars and his bank still flourishes. Other banks that only lend to the rich (because of 'economic realities') have crashed.

(You can catch a good interview with Yunus where he explains the principles of micro-credit. The interviewer says, 'This is such a great idea, what are the road blocks?' Yunus replies, "Number one: mindsets.')

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