It’s not people who aren’t credit-worthy. It’s banks that aren’t people-worthy.’ Muhammad Yunus
Muhammad Yunus, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, set up the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh to lend tiny sums to the poorest of the poor, who were shunned by ordinary banks. The money would enable them to set up the smallest village enterprise and pull themselves out of poverty.
Today, Yunus’s system of ‘micro-credit’ is practised in some sixty countries, and his Grameen Bank is a billion-pound business acknowledged by world leaders and the World Bank as a fundamental weapon in the fight against poverty.
Banker to the Poor is Yunus’s own enthralling story: of how Bangladesh’s terrible 1974 famine underlined the need to enable its victims to grow more food; of overcoming scepticism in many governments and in traditional economic thinking; and of how micro-credit was extended into credit unions in the West.