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Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic by Hugh Sinclair

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12 Collapse, Suicide, and Muhammad Yunus

Picture the scene. A kite-maker in Nicaragua had managed to obtain loans from all nineteen MFIs that formed the Nicaraguan Microfinance Association.1 With weekly repayments this would involve an average of four daily repayments. There could, conceivably, be queues of loan officers outside her kite shop. As she paid off one loan officer with the proceeds from another, the actual loan officers probably got to know one another in the process. Maybe she had to visit the MFIs rather than the loan officers visiting her premises? How much time does it take to visit four MFIs a day, queuing up, making the payment, and then shuffling off to the next? How many kites could she possibly make in the meantime? Sound ...

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