Thursday, November 18, 2010

investing in peloteros

"New Exotic Investment: Latin Baseball Futures"

Not actually about microfinance, but a really interesting article (to me at least) about a type of alternative investment.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

update on india's microfinance crisis

The crisis has been building for weeks, but has now reached a critical stage. Indian banks, which put up about 80 percent of the money that the companies lent to poor consumers, are increasingly worried that after surviving the global financial crisis mostly unscathed, they could now face serious losses. Indian banks have about $4 billion tied up in the industry, banking officials say.

Full story here. From the NY Times.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

microfinance in pakistan

Kristof's piece here, site for the MFI here.

can microlending save haiti?

One of the largest of Haiti’s microcredit groups, Finca Haiti, wrote off almost a third of its portfolio after many clients died in the earthquake or lost their homes and businesses. A staggering 53 percent of its borrowers were late on their payments.

Full story here. Marginal Revolution's post here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

sks and india's microfinance crisis

On October 15th, the government of Andhra Pradesh, India's fifth-most-populous state, issued an ordinance aimed at protecting women who "are being exploited by private microfinance institutions through usurious interest rates and coercive means resulting in their impoverishment and in some cases leading to suicides." The ordinance seems designed to quash microcredit in the state, where it has grown explosively in the last five years through a process of commercialization that has brought ample capital and made millions for some investors and founders.

Read more here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

how kiva is dealing with currency risk

Professor Foote mentioned currency risk during his talk on Monday. Here is a link from Kiva's blog on how they try to deal with it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

next week's speaker

Next Monday's speaker is Dr. Kendall Mau, CEO of Prisma Microfinance. Here is his blog which looks good! Hopefully he is more interesting and informative than tonights speaker.

mf class- tonight!

A reminder that the Berkeley MF Simulcast starts tonight! We are hosting it in the Science Center, Room AG14, at 7:00pm. The class coordinators sent me the slides and suggest that you read the "Millions for Millions" article from the syllabus. If I didn't send you the syllabus or slides and you want to see them, just send me an email.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

eye on microfinance

The Centre For Microfinance (CMF) has a really interesting newsletter that provides updates on their work and interviews with "sector experts." It can be pretty research oriented/technical but has a lot of good information. I thought this piece by Dean Karlan and Sendhil Mullainathan :"Is Microfinance Too Rigid?" was interesting (from issue #2)!

too many MFIs?

Cristina and I were talking the other day about the possibility of there being too many MFIs in a city/country/region. I found this post on Roodman's blog about this actually happening in El Salvador. Also on this point, here is a paper I have been meaning to read about how rising competition among MFIs affects client behavior. According to the abstract the authors found that competition has a negative effect on repayment rate as borrowers tend to start taking out multiple loans, but contrary to their hypothesis they don't find an increase in the client dropout rate.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"india calls on lenders to cut rates for poor"

here is the link to the financial times article i mentioned a couple of weeks ago. what do you all think?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

campus kiva speaker

CONTACT committee is sponsoring a talk by Morgan Lucas, the founder of Campus Kiva, this Thursday at 7:00pm in Huntley 237!

I think the format is that her talk will be followed by a little panel discussion on microfinance, with Jarrett and Professor Casey. I won't be able to be there but I encourage you all to check it out!

Monday, October 18, 2010

w&l alum

brian castleberry, a w&l alum, is working with hope international to start an MFI in brazzaville. here is his blog!


start thinking about applying for a peace project! i think the due date for the proposal is jan 15th at W&L, but it does take some time to develop. it is an amazing opportunity!


fundraising and grants group - check it out!

Campus MFI (aim for February?)
Jenzabar application, more information here about what Jenzabar does/is.

NPR Podcast

Check this out : "What's Better For Helping the Poor -- Greed or Charity?"

Thanks Chas!


Hope that everyone had a great reading days and is excited about meeting in their small groups this week! I have received some interest in holding a little workshop/introduction to microfinance. I think that Jarrett and I can introduce that as the first big group presentation, next Tuesday. Also, the microfinance webcast should hopefully be a great source of information! (Remember - Monday the 25th 7-9pm Sci Center AG14!)

If you want to do some reading:
An introduction: "The Microfinance Revolution: An Overview"
This is a little more intensive, but here is a blog I like: "David Roodman's Microfinance Open Book." He is in the process of writing a textbook on the history and impact of microfinance, and he makes chapters available through his blog as he finishes them.
Also, if you are an econ major, "The Economics of Microfinance" is an awesome read. I also have "Banker to the Poor" which is by Muhammad Yunus (who developed the concept of microfinance) and is less technical. I believe both books are at the library but let me know if you want to borrow one.

I will get into more specific topics later, but hopefully this material is helpful!