Read Banker To The Poor: The Story Of The Grameen Bank by Muhammad Yunus Alan Jolis Online


The personal story of the man who founded the system of micro-credit, Banker to the Poor tells the story of how he did it. Today Yunus's system of micro-credit is practiced in some 60 countries, including the US, Canada and France and his Grameen Bank is now a billion-pound business....

Title : Banker To The Poor: The Story Of The Grameen Bank
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ISBN : 9781854109248
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 187 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Banker To The Poor: The Story Of The Grameen Bank Reviews

  • Abby
    2019-02-11 08:30

    Muhammad Yunus and I are best friends. (Oops, I had to double check, and I'd spelled "Muhammad" wrong. Sorry, buddy!)Anyways, me and Mr. Yunus are best friends because once he spoke at the library in Salt Lake City, and when I heard about it I drove down and sat shyly on the back row of the auditorium and clapped really hard for him. Then after it was all over, I saw him just kind of hanging out all alone on the stage, and thought, "Maybe I could go and meet him and we could be best friends!" So I went down and said, "Mr. Muhammad Yunus, I just think you are the greatest guy in the whole world and I love you!!" Then he goes, "Oh, thank you!" and he HUGS ME! I have hugged Mr. Yunus. (Or, I guess, he has hugged me.) That's why we are best friends.Then, like the next day (or maybe the same day), I went to the Stadium of Fire in Provo, UT, and he was one of the honored people of the Freedom Festival and got an award on stage in front of millions (or thousands) of people! And I yelled "Hey buddy!" and he waved in my general direction. That's the story of our friendship.So anyways, the reason why he is so cool is this: he is the guy who started the whole idea of micro credit, where he would give very small loans (like, $2) to poor women who would then start their own business, rise above generations and generations of poverty, and save the world. He set up the most amazing programs with groups of women, and has the highest repayment percentage in like, the entire world. His program grows and grows and grows and helps woman and families all over the place. (When the LDS church started up the Perpetual Education Fund, I thought, "HEY! That's totally just like Muhammad's idea. Maybe President Hinckley read his book, too!")Oh, and it all started in his native Bangladesh. There is some website where you can do micro loans with your own money. My sister sent it to me once after I made her read this book. I invited her to see Muhammad Yunus in SLC, but she declined, and so she is not his friend. But, she might have that website still.Banker to the Poor is a cool book. Read it.

  • Lyn
    2019-02-17 07:27

    After finishing this book, I wanted to shout, "Yeah! Preach it, brother!" Really cool book. Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his decades of work. He is an academic who roles up his sleeves and produces something practical. His book should be embraced by Christians, conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and Dave Ramsey.

  • Riku Sayuj
    2019-01-20 03:24

    Highly recommended. A true must-read book.

  • Christine
    2019-02-04 06:14

    This book provides an informative overview of Grameen Bank and micro-lending, but I think that its argument in favor of micro-lending would be stronger if Yunus spent more time addressing the arguments of critics. Although some criticisms are mentioned briefly, Yunus brushes them off quickly. As one example, I think that Yunus far too quickly rejects the arguments that poor people living in the developed world would not benefit from micro-lending in the same ways as the poor of Bangladesh. I think that he seriously underestimates the different attitudes that poor Westerners have, especially in light of the fact that their poverty is generally much less extreme. Moreover, unlike the rural Bangladeshi poor who tend to have skills like basket-weaving, I am uncertain that the average poor American would have marketable skills that could be translated into income opportunities.This book has a tendency to be preachy, and, in my view, becomes a little boring at times. Still, it is more accessible and readable than I would expect for a book about an economic idea. I think that Yunus' notion that worldwide poverty can be entirely eradicated through micro-lending is way off base. If mciro-lending is the means to end poverty, why does Bangladesh remain one of the poorest countries in the world? Yunus' idea that micro-lending could completely supplant the need for any safety net (including for health care) is, in my view, harmful and should properly be viewed as an ideology of the far right.

  • Azwa Ahmad
    2019-02-03 05:13

    I read a 20+ pages report written by a group of MBA students from Columbia Business School and it was as concise, succinctly put as this 200+ pages book on Grameen Bank/microcredit. The importance of open access to resources is indispensable. Hence, I agree with Muhammad Yunus that the current financial system has inevitably, and is successful in sidelining the neediest, which eventually gives birth to the need to establish alternative institutions that work on social benefits as the underlying guidance in providing their services to the people. The establishment of the bank and many other replicators might seem to be successful in helping these people to break the poverty cycle, however exploitative forces still persist within the parameter. Labeling these people as the untapped resources and knowing how profitable they all are once tapped, lure the profiteers in. Consequently from this, we can see that the establishment itself has become counterproductive (not all however). It makes me think and feel extremely appalled by the greediness and the very fact on how destructive human beings can actually be. Besides, I too agree with the fact that Grameen Bank might be one of the solutions to poverty, not THE ultimate solution for it, taking into account that it could not make a dent on the national or even worldwide poverty crisis despite the fact that the program has a widespread reach. Though it is noble in its very own values, I was disappointed with the insufficient details from the borrowers’ accounts on how microcredit has served and helped them to combat poverty. The mere statistically glorious achievements attained by Grameen Bank –with 90+% repayment rate, XX% borrowers managed to cross over the poverty line and whatnots – fail to quench the thirst I have in knowing what does microcredit really mean to the impoverished. Yunus stated that everybody should be seen as potential entrepreneurs and access to credit is vital for the people to realize this. Yet I hardly can see how successful the poor people are in transforming themselves from nobodies into entrepreneurs, thanks to the painfully brief ‘victorious’ stories written by Yunus. I was itching with curiosity to know the real, detailed stories from these people’s perspectives. How do they make do with the microcredit being lent to them? What lead them to engage in the business that they are doing? Is training really not necessary for these people? Besides, there are things that Yunus had failed to mention in this book and one of those was the reasoning behind the creation of Grameen bank II, which I had come to know when I read the report I mention above –the operational crisis due to the 1995 boycott movement, 1998 floods and moral hazard that the classic Grameen model had inflicted upon the borrowers. In regard to this, I think that this book has been sugarcoated, with unaddressed crises and issues deepen my doubt about how successful Grameen Bank is beyond the statistical measures - on social ground that is.

  • Bunly
    2019-01-25 08:37

    Dr. Yunus could prove it is possible to lift the poorest out of poverty. He could open eyes of bankers who stick with the idea that lending could happend only when collateral is secured. His experience ilustrates the private sector is not only for the greedy but also for social-minded individuals. I would recommend the book to anyone who wish for a poverty-free world.

  • nanto
    2019-01-22 02:28

    Baru mulai beberapa hari lalu bacanya dan langsung suka. Ekonomi yang terkenal sebagai "fisikanya ilmu sosial" ditangan Yunus berubah menjadi antropologi ekonomi. Ilmu yang sarat identik dengan asumsi nomethetik sebagai kacamata paradigmatiknya, di tangan Yunus dikemas menjadi sangat ideografis, sarat dengan muatan lokal melalui pendekatan kasuistik dan misi perubahan sosial.Yah, Pak Yunus dengan sangat rendah hati telah mengubah dirinya dan lingkungan akademisnya untuk mau menjadi mahasiswa di depan kaum yang dianggap: nir-ketrampilan, ter-kutuk, malas, dan banyak lagi tudingan menara gading lainnya. Benar katanya, melalui beberapa bab yang terlewat, "Kaum miskin mengajarkan saya ilmu ekonomi yang sepenuhnya baru."Senang membaca buku yang tadinya saya duga akan penuh dengan angka, tapi nyatanya sarat dengan pesan yang memperkaya hati. Tersentuh dengan Bapak-nya Yunus yang dengan sabar merawat ibunya yang terserang gangguan jiwa. Duh segala peri-gombal Gibran tumbang dengan perilaku Ayahnya Yunus itu.Utang Baca makin banyaaaa...k! Tralala-tri li liUpdate: 10 Juli 2008:Sebenernya dah mau tamat. Namun masuk bagian soal dia memulai dan kemudian berhasil memetakan permasalahan kredit mikro yang terkait dengan problem sosio-kultural, konstruksi gender yang tidak berpihak pada solusi pengentasan kemiskinan, sekaligus agama, dengan juga tantangan dari pihak luar, kok malah jadi ribet. Ribet bukan karena paparannya, tapi bagaimana uraian Yunus yang naratif tidak mudah disarikan secara konseptual. Seperti cerita pola akunting yang operasional itu dikembangkan berdasarkan kejadian lapangan. Dan juga, cerita Yunus yang mencoba memperluas nasabah-nya melalui baliho atau papan tulisan. Namun, Yunus dalam ceritanya kemudian mengakui betapa ironisnya usaha itu. Ia lupa bahwa sebagian besar nasabahnya adalah perempuan buta huruf. Sehingga untuk lebih merengkuh nasabahnya yang sebagian besar perempuan yang modal utamanya adalah keinginan memperbaiki hidup diri dan anak-anaknya, ia harus menyambangi mereka di lingkungan mereka, dengan rintangan budaya setempat yang menerapkah purdah, hijab laki dan wanita.Ceritanya mengalir. Namun kepala ini susah juga diajak bolak-balik buku konseptual dan buku cerita. Buku Yunus ini buku cerita buat saya, narasi kasus pendirian dan pengembangan Grameen Bank. Untuk itu saya lompat dahulu ke bagian penutup yang merupakan pidato Yunus ketika mendapatkan Hadiah Nobel. Pidato-nya merupakan ringkasan dari keseluruhan .hehe Sementara bermain curang dulu yah...*update 2 Agustus 2008*Mulai mendapatkan ide kenapa di buku ini lebih bermain emosi daripada mekanime yang dikembangkan sama Yunus. Sebagai ekonom Yunus cukup rendah hati dengan mengedepankan pendekatan kasuistik dalam programnya agar setiap programnya selalu tepat sasaran, meski tetap menggunakan asumsi generalisasi (nomothetic) ala ilmu ekonomi. Karena toh diujungnya, ia juga mendorong enterprenerialisme yang berbasis sosial, melakukan usaha demi kebaikan. Sebuah ungkapan sederhana yang bila ditilik secara mendalam mengubah salah satu prinsip rasionalitas dalam ilmu ekonomi. Rasionalitas yang identik semangat memperbesar keuntungan pribadi diubah menjadi sebuah semangan altruisme sosial dalam dunia usaha. Saya sendiri masih menunggu operasionalisasi konsep Yunus itu. Merapihkan review ini juga masih jadi hutang. Bila saya mengingat Yunus yang berbuat "baik" bagi kaum miskin di lingkungan sekitarnya, dan kemudian ditanya niatnya, dia toh menyatakan, "So one way, I try to kind of enlightened my frustration and agony by coming to the conclusion that I may not be useful as an economist, but I'm still a basic human being." Soal niat saya cuma inget cerita Kang Harry Roesli ketika ditanya kenapa dia membantu pengamen dan anak jalanan, jawabannya adalah mencegah mereka yang hidupnya keras di jalan dari menjadi kriminal di besarnya nanti. Karena mencegah mereka menjadi kriminal adalah memberi lingkungan sosial yang leih baik bagi anaknya yang seumuran dengan pengamen dan anak jalanan itu.Ketika mendengar Yunus bicara tentang niatnya, saya berkesimpulan, berbuat baik itu pun bukan sebuah heroisme atau altruisme yang berlebihan. Berbuat baik itu tidak lebih adalah demi egoisme pribadi si pelaku. Bagi Yunus adalah meredakan rasa frustasinya, bagi Kang Harry menolong anak jalanan adalah menciptakan lingkungan sosial yang baik bagi anaknya bila kelak dewasa. Menolong orang lain tak lebih dari menolong diri sendiri. Egoisme yang oleh Yunus ingin dikembangkan dalam konsep social bussines.

  • PDXReader
    2019-01-24 01:20

    This book has much in common with Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time. In it, Mohammad Yunus seeks to alleviate poverty one person at a time, with micro-loans. It's a fascinating look at how the system works, and the enterprise's founding and history were equally absorbing. Like Three Cups of Tea, however, the writing is just so-so. Yunus comes across as a bit self-righteous and a bit pedantic, and the writing at times is repetitive. Overall it's an interesting and valuable book, though, and I was very glad that I'd read it.

  • Donovan Richards
    2019-02-09 02:38

    How to Eliminate PovertyThis weekend I attended the Bottom Billions | Bottom Line Conference hosted by Seattle Pacific University’s Center for Integrity in Business. The event served as a convergence zone between business, nonprofit organizations, and the academy seeking to better understand ways that business can help alleviate world poverty.Of the many interesting subjects discussed at the conference, the topic of microfinance seemed to continuously echo through my head. For those unfamiliar with the term, microfinance occurs when banks or nonprofit organizations loan small amounts to the poor, helping them to use these miniscule amounts of capital to begin income-generating endeavors.Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and author of Banker to the Poor, observed that the only thing the poor lacked was opportunity.He writes, “When you hold the world in your palm and inspect it only from a bird’s eye view, you tend to become arrogant – you do not realize that things get blurred when seen from an enormous distance. I opted instead for “the worm’s eye view.” I hoped that if I studied poverty at close range, I would understand it more keenly.”Charity vs. MicrofinanceWithout capital, the poor would take a loan from a moneylender at exorbitant rates in order to partake in the economy. At the end of the day, these people took home pennies to support a family. Yunus figured that if he could loan these slight sums at low interest rates, the poor could enjoy selling the products of their labor on the open market, thus creating economic capital and a trail out of poverty.Charity, on the other hand, gives freely without expectation of return. Many, though, have suggested that pure charity does not eradicate poverty, because the poor become dependent on receiving aid. Blogger Filip Spagnoli aggregates international development aid on his website. The evidence he has compiled suggests that the amount of aid contributed to these developing nations is staggering, and yet economic growth is not a result.Would development function differently if aid came in the form of a loan instead of charity? Yunus believes that loans to the poor provide the best investment. Many stuck in the cycle of poverty are smart and hardworking; they just need the money to start. While big banks typically consider micro-loans to be both risky and inconsequential, Yunus’ experience argues that the poor possess the highest incentive to repay their loans.Of course, when unforeseen problems such as natural disasters and economic meltdowns place the poor in positions where they are unable to repay the loan, Yunus extends grace and loans more money to help the poor back on their feet. In this way, microlending encourages entrepreneurial spirit. Where charity gives the widow a fish, microfinance engages in teaching the widow to fish.What Is the Best Thing?Although charitable giving in and of itself is never a bad thing, I do wonder if it is the best thing. Of course, a free gift without expectation of repayment carries the highest blessing for the receiver, yet long term, I wonder if microloans create a better society. Certainly, charity is necessary for the destitute – the people who are so poor that any money loaned would be used to keep them from dying. Yet, the moderately poor need a kick start and microlending seems to be the best option in alleviating these struggles.Yunus writes Banker to the Poor in an autobiographical tone. He tries his best to position the book as a personal success story in the ongoing battle against poverty. It certainly seems like his position could and should be implemented worldwide, yet Yunus writes with a touch of humility. If you are interested in ways to eradicate poverty outside of giving to your favorite nonprofit, I suggest that you read this book.Originally published at

  • Ashish
    2019-01-19 01:29

    Mohammed Yunus is a revolutionary for championing the concept of micro-lending. Micro-lending means lending loans to extremely poor people so that they can use that credit to rise above the poverty line. As the term “micro” suggests, these loans are very small. But, the difference that small credit can make upon the lives of people is immense. Yunus started by handing out loans to the poorest because according to him, the term “poor” is vague and often overused. So, focusing on "poor" is not sufficient.What started as Yunus’ personal journey ended up becoming a national and a global movement eventually. When I heard about the concept of “micro-credit,” I was skeptical at first because handing out money to people who can’t even feed themselves sounds risky. They do not have collateral as security. They do not have appropriate entrepreneurial spirit to expand their business. But, the success of Grameen shows that while these objections are logical, they are exaggerated. “We have been made to believe that the poor are not to be trusted with credit -they are not creditworthy. But are banks peopleworthy?” Yunus built the Grameen movement because of his trust on people. The people he focused on were socially and financially handicapped women living in constant misery. They were beaten up by their husbands, socially handicapped because of the conservative societal dogma they were facing and financially exploited because of the usurious interest rates local money lenders were charging them. In other words, they were hopeless. Yunus’ credit system not only made them entrepreneurs by making them self-employers but it also socially empowered them. This empowerment is captured by the disappointment one guy expressed with Yunus because he could no longer abuse his wife because whenever he abused her, he was bombarded by a group of women who actively despised domestic violence. Yunus is an economic and a social revolutionary for these reasons. But, while doing all these, he believed in capitalistic approaches for achieving his purpose. Because of a select few, society often depicts a capitalist as “greedy (almost bloody-thirsty) person in the role of a profit maximizer.” I can personally attest to this. Whenever I praise the core of capitalism and criticize some socialist approaches, some of my ultra-liberal friends consider me as an Islamophobic, homophobic, Donald Trump’s asslicker. If that were the case, Yunus, the person who has empowered countless number of impoverished people, is also a similar guy. After all, he charged interest as high as 20% to the miserable people I mentioned earlier. He is not an advocate of charities and welfare payments and he believes in less government interventions against businesses. He is a social revolutionary AND also a believer of the fundamentals of capitalism.Overall, this book explains the fundamentals of micro-credit and the Grameen journey in an eloquent manner. I’d easily give a 5 star to Muhammad Yunus but the reason I’m only giving a 4 star to his book is that at some parts, the book got boring because of too much irrelevant details about Yunus’ personal life.

  • Noah Enelow
    2019-02-01 04:20

    Just an amazing story, how an economics professor from Bangladesh, trained in the U.S., goes back to his country to do "nation-building" and finds enormous untapped potential among the poor. Harnesses a stripped-down, modified version of traditional banking to start a bank that eventually gains a client base of over 2 million people. That's nuts! How do you start anything that big? One person at a time, apparently - that's how he did it. At a certain point the book stops being a life story and starts being advice from a social entrepreneurship guru. So much the better! The man's ability to create not only a poverty alleviation strategy, but an organizational strategy that's met with so much success, is just mind-boggling to me. I guess I've just never seen a collective wave of altruistic behavior like the one he describes among his loan officers. I'd really like to see it. Does anyone know where I can find it? The closest thing I've seen is the way a friend of mine described his AmeriCorps program in the early 2000s, where he started a mentoring program for high school students that really took off. Anyways - I think building strong organizations like Grameen, that are really accountable to their clients and are there, day after day, not only exhorting but modeling truly admirable behavior, is absolutely key to the elimination of poverty worldwide. One-time interventions don't do it, and there has to be trust and accountability the whole way through. Not only that, but understanding and empathy.

  • Sunil
    2019-01-20 05:15

    Yunus would have made a great candidate for a Nobel in Economics. Unlike the theoretical university researchers who dominate the list today, Yunus’s defining traits are a supremely practical and field oriented. And like all pioneers his success comes from questioning the absolute fundamentals- why need collateral for credit? How can you be sure that the poor can’t pay? But he is also aware that the success of his experiments have been aided by his being ‘elite’. Only someone with his kind of connections could navigate the minefields of Bangladesh’s politics and bureaucracy to achieve his objectives. It’s been a long learning curve for him. His key learnings include ‘Credit is a human right’ and ‘western style welfare states can actually promote complacency among people and prevent them aiming at self-sufficiency’. In all a great and insightful read.

  • Tyler
    2019-02-04 07:17

    I LOVED THIS BOOK -- six stars. It tells the story of Grameen and microcredit from the beginning until now.Forget theories, classrooms, and endless postulating. Acting on a desire to help others will go so much further than all of aggrandized theories and reticent intentions.Muhammad Yunus changed the world with a simple idea spurned from his moral sense.Simple goodwill is undervalued.

  • Vikas Garud
    2019-01-21 07:35

    This is an autobiography of a great man Mohammed Yunus who is also a recipient of Nobel Peace Prize. This is a story of a miraculous work done by Dr Yunus for the upliftment of downtrodden Bangladeshis through his exceptionally creative Grameen Bank which was a path breaking experiment.The book also gives glimpses of the contemporary rural society of Bangladesh.

  • Mónica Delgado
    2019-01-26 01:17

    La escritura/traducción no son increíbles pero lo grandioso de este libro es la historia que cuenta. Me hizo recuperar mi espíritu juvenil de "quiero salvar el mundo". Sólo necesito poner manos a la obra antes de que ese espíritu se vuelva a oxidar en mí

  • Vishal Goel
    2019-02-03 05:12

    Yunus is a God among men.

  • Pratishtha Chaurasia
    2019-01-24 08:17

    A book like this should be read by everyone. I believe, they should put this in school curriculum so as to teach kids about - social-conciousness as a motivational force. As kids, we once always dream about growing up and changing the world for better. Unfortunately, so called practicality and rationality makes us leave all such thoughts and work for ourselves. This book provides a real-life example of how one man's wish to lift the poorest out of the poverty and that too, not by doing something for them but rather making it possible for them to do something for themselves, can change lives of so many people. Muhammad Yunus has shown us that one person at a time can actually make a difference. The instances he has described makes you wonder about the liberating force that credit has when given to the poor. For me, this is a book more about courage and determination than on economics or microfinance. As he mentions in the book, We need to learn from the real world. And the real world is just outside the classrooms. It is everywhere outside the classrooms. May we find our courage, and may we have more like him!

  • Nina
    2019-02-19 08:31

    Really interesting book overall. At times I felt like Yunus was too excited and dedicated about the Grameen Bank to be honest about the challenges of micro lending (he continuously seemed to rush past those sections or somewhat glossing them), but it was still really interesting/inspiring to see how he structured the bank around community ownership and accountability. I didn’t agree with some of his views on governments not funding public goods, but definitely worth the read and I look forward to reading more on the subject.

  • Nandhitha Hariharan
    2019-02-01 02:19

    Loved reading this book.

  • Danny Kim
    2019-02-13 07:35

    Definitely sets the industry standard for microfinance sector. Teaches readers the founder's motivation to start the enterprise + hardships he went through.

  • Bob
    2019-01-29 02:38

    Summary: Yunus' personal account of developing micro-lending and the Grameen Bank to help lift the rural poor out of poverty by providing the small loans they needed to develop their own small businesses.How often does it happen that a person has an epiphany, a revelatory moment that changes their lives? For Muhammad Yunus, brought up in a merchant family, and as a Fulbright scholar representing the "best and brightest" of a Bengali elite that would achieve independence in Bangladesh, the future looked promising. Returning to Chittagong, he became chair of the university's economics department. Then came studies of the really poor in Jobra, a village near the university, and the day that he realized that 42 stool makers lacked the resources they needed to buy raw materials, tallied up the need and discovered that all they lacked was $27, which he promptly lent them himself.At the time, banks would not give loans in such small amounts, and moneylenders charged usuri0us rates that only drove them deeper into debt. And so Yunus conceived the idea of micro-lending. In this book, we follow the narrative of the development of the Grameen ("rural") Bank from the initial pilot project to expansion to neighboring villages and the eventual chartering of the bank. He recounts the development of its innovative lending practices (for example, no collateral, no lengthy applications, weekly payments on loans) and the conviction that the poor had the initiative and character to both develop businesses and pay back loans (typically Grameen-style banks had repayment rates between 98 and 100 percent). He describes the organization of borrowers into groups of five who all must pass a test before receiving their loans, who hold each other accountable for loan repayment without being liable for non-payments, and the setting aside of additional funds in a group loan fund, against emergencies. These groups actually acquire an ownership stake in the bank. Underlying all this is a basic trust in the borrowers, along with good structures that help with financial development.Along the way, Yunus describes the cultural and business challenges that had to be overcome. What is striking is the gentle persistence of Yunus and an ability both to respect and creatively engage existing institutions and cultures, whether it is working out a charter for his bank, or dealing with male objections to women borrowing. One is also taken with his vision for the poorest of the poor, who he believes simply need the resources to help themselves. It is obvious that he infuses that vision in his staff, who often pass up better jobs because of the social mission of Grameen.The latter part of the book describes the extension of Grameen Bank ideas to other nations, including the poorest of the poor in the United States. It is humorous to see how hosts in this country would bring to Yunus small business people who needed loans, when Yunus wanted to meet with the poorest of the poor, those who didn't have businesses, but simply an idea of what they could do to support themselves if they had the money to get started. The book concludes with Yunus' account of the development of various Grameen enterprises (including village phones, telecommunications, textiles and fisheries), the roll-out of Grameen II, further developing Grameen's principles, and a final chapter on his passionate endorsement of the Millenium Development Goals to eradicate poverty, particularly among the bottom twenty percent of the world's poor.While Yunus talks about setbacks and challenges, most of these have to do with, or are attributed to external factors. It seems we hear almost exclusively of success stories and not much of failures or organizational mistakes. The book makes a strong case for the promise of micro-lending, but doesn't explore the limitations or other factors in economic development. Perhaps that would distract from the story he is trying to tell but a greater place for discussion of these matters would give less the sense of micro-lending as a panacea rather than as a useful practice.The book ends in 2003. Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. In 2011, the Bangladeshi government forced Yunus to resign his post at Grameen Bank due to age (he was 72). In 2013, the government passed the Grameen Bank Act, allowing it to make rules for any aspect of bank operations. Whether the Grameen Bank will continue to serve the poorest of the poor as it was conceived to do thus is an open question. What is clear however is that Yunus developed a model of micro-lending to the poorest of the poor, built on belief in their initiative and trust that they will repay, that has contributed to growing self-sufficiency for many individuals and economic development in many settings of poverty with lessons applicable throughout the world. In an era increasingly concerned about "helping that hurts" this account offers a model of "helping that helps" worthy of our attention.

  • Siddiq Husainy
    2019-02-16 07:34

    [ Banker to the Poor ][ Winners of Nobel Prize - Muhammad Yunus & Grameen Bank ]An inspiring book indeed. Mengisahkan tentang the pioneer of *microcredit*. Basically, microcredit ni berikan small loans to individuals/groups of people without collateral. Besarnya pengaruh bank dan individu ini sehingga tertubuh beratus-ratus brach bank-nya di seluruh dunia, sama ada directly under Grameen atau mengambil model perbankan-nya. Sangat memberikan inspirasi, terutama bagi mereka yang nak terlibat secara penuh masa dalam usaha pemansuhan pengangguran. Mungkin sebelum ini hanya sekadar 'charity outreach', 'soup kitchen', dan sedekah etc2. Buku ini memberikan perspektif atau usaha lain yang boleh berikan impak yang besar dalam menangani isu ini.The idea is this:-Credit is a basic human right. For a poor people with hands-on skills and ideas but with no money, credit is just the thing they need to start a business and sustain their life. And according to the book, 95%++ of the loan are repaid back fully, as opposed to loans to rich people. Hal ini(repayment) bukan sahaja di Bangladesh, tetapi juga di US dan tempat lain.Even Malaysia(Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia) mengambil model Bank ini.Juga dalam ini, Yunus mencanangkan idea "social business" berbanding "Profit Maximising Business". Kritikan kepada social business dikatakan kerana agak vague dan boleh jadi manipulative. Contoh, ada kes yang berlaku di India dan Mexico(perenggan ini melalui wiki)--Ada beberapa aspek yang boleh di sentuh menarik di sini1) konsep group untuk Ambil loan. Dalam satu chapter, borrower tu ditanya, adakah lagi senang kalau apply individu atau group? Wanita itu berkata, aku sebelum ini tiada kawan, tiada gang. Sejak ada group ini, aku ada kawan yang support dan take care of each other. Familiar? Macam konsep usrah. Take care and support each other. 2) Ada seorang pekerja Grameen. Dia dulu bekerja J.P Morgan, dan dia berhenti dari kerja sebab dia kata tak ada "soul" dalam kerja dia before. Point dia. Don't just work based on your passion. Tetapi juga tengok dari aspek spiritual/jiwa juga. --* If you meet Bangladeshi, look at them with a sense of awe, that one of the highly influenced efforts to fight poverty, comes from their country. * Memang ada quite a political issue between Grameen Bank and the current Bangladesh government. Grameen clearly stated they are a non-partisan organisation, but only encourage their workers(or owners) to vote in election.*Now, the current government looks to be attacking Yunus more aggressively {he was removed from being managing director in 2011/2012(via wiki)} Sounds familiar?*Well, AIM is said to be same too. And most other places/institution where money{this bank has TONS of money. But are used to target the poor, and extremely poor), and influence(imagine the power of the owner(read:poor) trough out the world} are there, there will be always people to take opportunity to hold the power.

  • Jacob
    2019-01-24 08:30

    This is a very interesting and unusual book about an economist dedicated to helping the poor. As in, trying some things to help the poor, watching the effects, and figuring out whether they really are reaching the poorest that he is trying to help. I found his discussion of real-life effects engaging and basic, i.e. you don't need to be an economics expert to understand what he is saying. For example, the author first tried helping a collective of farmers and sharecroppers with improved irrigation and high-yield seeds, but found it disproportionately helped the farmers and didn't help the sharecroppers nearly enough.Yunus' basic claim is that people who are desperately poor are often willing to work hard to improve their circumstances, but there is a certain minimum of capital (money, equipment, etc.) necessary to do so. They often already know things they could do to make money and don't need skills training, they just need access to capital at a reasonable rate to escape the cycle of borrowing money at incredible rates => making very little for themselves => borrowing more money at incredible rates. Yunus' genius was not only in lending directly to the poor at reasonable rates in specific ways to help them overcome their poverty, but also creating groups of borrowers with social ties to support them. He also focused heavily on lending to women.The author feels that government efforts to help the poor are better at creating bureaucracies that help themselves, and that government's role should be to prevent unfair squelching of competition, keeping barriers to entry low, and generally staying out of the way. He notes that his approach actually works better in 3rd world countries where, ironically, it's easier for individuals to start their own business and for the poor to improve themselves. Developed nations had problems starting this kind of approach because welfare often prevents them from making their own money (by disallowing it or deducting what they make from their welfare) and by requiring all kinds of certifications, paperwork, and extraneous expense when starting a business.I like a lot of what Yunus has to say, although I think he gets a little off sometimes. His discussions of government and international organizations is extremely dry. I'm also a bit surprised to hear him claim that if we eliminated poverty there wouldn't be extreme business cycle fluctuations anymore, and his experience with helping start microcredit programs in developed countries supported some belief that some poor don't want to help themselves, even though he refused to believe it (better to phrase it as finding the ones who do and reaching them). However, I really like what he's done and I think it's a fantastic idea.

  • Mustafa Sheikh
    2019-01-21 09:41

    i wanna give this book 6/5!Muhammad Yunus is certainly an outstanding thinker and leader. he has a clear view of what he wants to achieve and is a real revolutionary in the way he works to help his society and humans all over. he's highly passionate when it comes to the poor, and he really shows us how we can do a lot of good though social activity rather than going into politics.the book starts with the an account of his typical childhood and his memories of those days. he finishes school, gets a scholarship and flies to the US where he earns a PhD in economics. everything changes when Bangladeshi people raise up against the Pakistani army asking for independence and all hell breaks loose, at which time Yunus shines as one of the leaders of the Bengali workers/students in the states as they lobbied and demonstrated in Washington to build support for their country against Pakistan.returning to Bangladesh after the independence with his American wife, his work to serve his society is really impressive. the book tells the tale of his work to help the poor, how he started and developed his ideas of how to best assist the really poor villagers to have a more human and decent lives. through it all, his ideas and views are really inspiring. the work he's done spans from early 70s till date, starting from a small village near the campus of his University, and all the way to the national level. afterwards he takes his idea to various countries of the 3ed world and then to the rich industrial ones (United States!). Grameen Bank (rural bank) that he worked really hard to establish best serves his ideas of providing micro-credit to the poor. this means providing small loans to the poor allowing them to buy the raw material/instruments they need to start making money and support themselves. its a unique organization, where 95% of it is owned by the poor borrowers themselves, and the remaining 5% is owned by the government. the bank has grown to the level of providing housing loans, disaster support, and it now serves more than 8 million poor people and has so far provided loans amounting to 10 billion US$.the book is full of Yunus's strong views on how to help the poor, and heavily criticizes the current international "industry" of relief which is largely controlled by politics, and is filled by "consultants" who charge huge amount of money to write biased useless reports on situations on the poor areas of the world.i strongly recommend everyone to read this book.

  • Lisa Faye
    2019-01-22 04:38

    I live and work in Bangladesh and I've met Grameen borrowers who are so incredibly oppressed and stressed out by the repayment of their loans and women who have been forced to get loans and then hand them over to family members, but I've never yet met a woman who told me that a Grameen loan changed her life for the better. Professor Yunus is a capitalist and thinks that the capitalist economy is a positive thing, even for the poor. He believes in competition rather than cooperation. He believes that the free market is truly free - and that it would be even better for everyone if it was more free. He is an economist trained in the traditional economist way. Really though, this reviewer pretty much summed up my thoughts on this book exactly:"This book provides an informative overview of Grameen Bank and micro-lending, but I think that its argument in favor of micro-lending would be stronger if Yunus spent more time addressing the arguments of critics. Although some criticisms are mentioned briefly, Yunus brushes them off quickly. As one example, I think that Yunus far too quickly rejects the arguments that poor people living in the developed world could benefit from micro-lending in the same ways as the poor of Bangladesh. I think that he seriously underestimates the different attitudes that poor Westerners have, especially in light of the fact that their poverty is generally much less extreme. Moreover, unlike the rural Bangladeshi poor who tend to have skills like basket-weaving, I am uncertain that the average poor American would have marketable skills that could be translated into income opportunities.This book has a tendency to be preachy, and, in my view, becomes a little boring at times. Still, it is more accessible and readable than I would expect for a book about an economic idea. I think that Yunus' notion that worldwide poverty can be entirely eradicated through micro-lending is way off base. If mciro-lending is the means to end poverty, why does Bangladesh remain one of the poorest countries in the world? Yunus' idea that micro-lending could completely supplant the need for any safety net (including for health care) is, in my view, harmful and should properly be viewed as an ideology of the far right."

  • Kathleen Hagen
    2019-02-05 03:17

    Banker to the Poor: micro lending and the battle against poverty, by Muhammad Yunus, narrated by Ray Porter, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from Yunus was an economics professor teaching at a university in what is now known as Bangladesh. In the late ‘70’s, he came to the conclusion that his students needed more hands-on experience in the economics of being poor. He discovered that the very poorest people, mostly women, could never get beyond being poor because no one would lend them money. The banks could have loaned them a minuscule amount, and they would have been able to avoid the money-lenders who charged such outrageous interest, but the banks told Yunus that since the people couldn’t fill out the paperwork and had no collateral, they couldn’t have loans. Anyway, the poor had no skills or training, the banks and economic professors said, and therefore would be unable to pay the money back. Since he couldn’t convince the banks or the government to provide help without also giving him unwanted strings, he quit his job as a professor and became a banker for the poor. Starting in the 1970’s and still going 30 years later, Yunus has set up banks specifically for the poor, and the idea has spread through the developing nations. Almost always the debts are totally repaid. The very poor have nowhere else to go to get money, so they pay back the debts, faster and more completely than debtors from regular banks. It’s a fascinating book following the evolution of Yunus’ ideas and the success of his micro-lending theories. This book was first published in 1996, then updated and republished in 2003. Yunus received the Nobel Peace prize in 2007 for his work. Ray Porter does a wonderful job of narrating this book. He uses just the right intonations to make it seem as if Professor Yunus is right in the room conversing with you.

  • Asri Wijayanti
    2019-01-31 09:29

    A must-read for anyone working in development field. It is loaded with thought-provoking facts and motivation to work on something that will really be useful for what so-called grassroot communities. His explorations reveals important facts on who are "the poor", what they need, how they are at the face of conventional economics, and the breakthrough in cutting the circle of poverty. His questions on how academic world can give real impacts to the community is the question that remains in many parts of the world. His statement,"When you hold the world in your palm and inspect it only from a bird's eye view, you tend to become arrogant - you do not realize that things get blurred when seen from an enormous distance" - is an auto-critique to how most academician works, and is a great entrance to the rest of the journey to find out how knowledge on economics and development would be matched with the real circumstances of the community.Here we can feel Muhammad Yunus' passion in what he is doing, and learning the a social activist really go a long way fighthing for things that he believes: from the idea of Bangladesh independence until the ideas to liberate the bamboo stool makers in Jobra. Passion is the power that led many to choose their career path in development works, yet not everyone can make a change that is as big as what Dr. Yunus has done. This book helps to show what it takes to make that change happen.

  • Gwenyth
    2019-01-24 01:21

    I picked this up because I was interested in learning a little more about Grameen bank, which as I understand it is pretty much the granddaddy of micro-credit organizations. I very much enjoyed the book. It's divided into about four parts: a quick autobiography of Yunus, a quick history of how Grameen got started and its principles, some criticism of some current (actually now somewhat dated) movements in global development, and a summary of Yunus's vision of social entrepreneurship.I always find autobiographies a little weird, and Yunus' panegyric to his own organization doesn't exactly read as unbiased. However, I think he does a fair job of addressing some of the criticisms I've heard made of Grameen realistically, without whitewashing. For example, I find it fascinating that he is willing to admit that there may casualties related to the organization of the bank (eg, female bank workers harassed or borrowers bullied) but argues that upholding certain principles are worth the risk.I'd definitely recommend this to anyone interested in micro-credit, it was an engaging and very informative read. On a side note, I also found myself thinking a lot about Hernando de Soto's book The Mystery of Capital while I was reading this- the two books could be interesting to read together side-by-side.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-01-31 06:28

    This book is about the Grameen Bank and their effort to give micro-credit loans to the poorest of the poor. I heard about it during college, but really enjoyed learning its history and progress. The edition my library had was from 1999, so I will research online for updates in the last 15 years. I love the idea of empowering people using the talents they already have to find income.One note, Dr. Yunus is a very pompous man. BUT, if these programs are working as well as he says they are, then good for him. He deserves to be proud.It's given me a different way to look at social change (although I still believe charity has its place in helping). This part especially (p. 237):"When we want to help the poor, we usually offer them charity. Most often we use charity to avoid recognizing the problem and finding a solution for it. Charity becomes a way to shrug off our responsibility."Charity is no solution to poverty. Charity only perpetuates poverty by taking the initiative away from the poor. Charity allows us to go ahead with our own lives without worrying about those of the poor. It appeases our consciences."But the real issue is creating a level playing field for everybody, giving every human being a fair chance."

  • Borna Safai
    2019-01-19 06:32

    If you think there is no good left in the world, you should read Banker to the Poor. Muhammad Yunus takes us through his experience, going from a university teacher to a worker at the grassroots level, lending money to the poorest of village people, to help them get started through offering microcredit loans.It's a fascinating story, of how an initial $27 helped 42 people get their life back on track again, to break free from the vicious circle of poverty. The Grameen organization has now spread and grown to more than just a bank, and reading the book gives a lot of hope, of how one man desiring to do good can actually accomplish it despite everyone and even the system working against him.The only thing that made me uncomfortable while reading the book was how everything seemed to flow and progress so smoothly. Setbacks and negative experiences were dealt with in one paragraph, and the following success was given much more space. It would have been interesting to read a bit more about the problems and reflections on those experiences. All in all though, it's a very good book and well worh reading.