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Philanthropy Management Magazine: Muhammad Yunus Decries Microfinance Loan Sharking

Founder of Grameen Bank is wary of too much microfinance involvement by philanthropies

NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In the latest issue of Philanthropy Management, Nobel laureate and microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus expressed frustration that microfinance is not always applied appropriately.  "For us, the idea of microfinance stemmed from the fact we wanted to fight loan sharks, but some of these microfinance organizations took the idea and became loan sharks themselves," he told editor Richard Schwartz in an exclusive interview.

Yunus is gratified to see the microfinance concept spread across the globe, but reiterates that the key point of microfinance is to help people build a way out of poverty. It should not be "a way to make money out of poor people," he stated.

Agreeing that certain microfinance organizations have made the social objectives of their activity subservient to financial ends, Schwartz noted that, "In some cases this has resulted in tragic consequences for the communities involved."

Yunus does not discourage foundations from engaging in microfinance, but believes microfinance should not be dependent in the long-term on donor finance. He said, "Why should Grameen Bank have to go and beg money from a foundation? The bank makes money and the money goes back as a dividend to the poor."

The complete story is available in the print edition and at the newly launched, www.philanthropy-management.com, which highlights multimedia offerings and provides daily online-only content.

About Philanthropy Management
Philanthropy Management, an Asset International publication, focuses on the financial, operational and strategic services provided to foundations, endowments and other large-scale grant makers by banks, asset managers and other professional advisors. Edited by Richard Schwartz, it is distributed globally to more than 11,000 senior executives within the largest grant making entities in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Middle East, including foundations and endowments, family foundations and family offices.  Philanthropy Management aims to provide philanthropic institutions with a broader and more refined range of tools, resources and research to measure their own success and the impact of the advisors they use. Please visit philanthropy-management.com.

About Asset International
Asset International is a privately-held provider of information and technology to global pension funds, asset managers, financial advisers, banking service providers, and other financial institutions in the private and public sector. Its industry-leading brands include Strategic Insight, SIMFUND, Plan For Life, PLANSPONSOR, PLANADVISER, aiCIO, Philanthropy Management, Global Custodian, and The Trade. The company has offices in New York, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne and Stamford, CT.

SOURCE Philanthropy Management

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