This month a radical thinker passed through Westminster and presented an idea that politicians tackling Britain’s economic crisis should sit up and take notice, writes David Hencke.
Nobel Peace prizewinner Muhammad Yunus was addressing a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference on growth and development en route from Bangla Desh to Mexico City. The conference attracted people from as far apart as Somalia and Paraguay and Haiti and Timor-Leste.
Yunus is the man who created an anti-bank bank called the Grameen Bank in Bangla Desh which broke every rule of traditional banking. As he put it : ” I went and talked to the banks and did precisely the opposite of everything they told me.”
His bank was only interested in lending money to the poorest in Bangla Desh – those with nothing so they could start tiny micro businesses. His ideas have now been taken up in developed economies notable the United States in New York and elsewhere.
His bank is extraordinary. he employs no lawyers, has no detailed contracts, and lends to people with no collatoral and yet 99 per cent of the small loans are repaid. Bad news for Price Waterhouse and City lawyers as well as banks.
I was particularly struck by one phrase he tells the unemployed in Bangla Desh to say. ” I am not a job seeker. I am a job creator. I want to start at the top not be exploited at the bottom.”
Now it occurs to me that this might have a lot of resonance to Britain post the crash. Capitalism and bankers are brilliant at helping the haves have even more so they can exploit the have-nots, What about turning the idea on its head and help the have-nots for once?
Read how on David Hencke’s website.
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