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Microcredit and Neoliberalism

In the assigned article for this week, Karim concludes that because Grameen Bank is so well known globally, it has wide support in middle-class Bangladesh society because it is a source of 'symbolic capital'. Elites do not wish to question it for fear of embarrassing Bangladesh (which suggests that the economy of shame plays out on many levels). In any case, since this article, there has been a bit of a fall from grace, apparently coming from accusations that the bank misused aid funds from Norway, and that its founder harbored political ambitions. Take a look at the following reports, plus anything else you find, to get a fuller sense of things now.

What is the basis for the criticism of Grameen and microcredit? How would Karim interpret these new developments?

Other readings

Grameen Bank since 2008

Bergman, David. 2011. “Norwegian Television’s Big Lie.” Grameen Bank: Bank for the Poor [Republished from New Age: The Outspoken Daily]. March 20. http://www.grameen.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1017&Itemid=906.

“Grameen: Norway Gives All-Clear to Bangladesh Bank.” 2015. BBC News. Accessed May 5. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-11947902.

Opatija, Milford Bateman in. 2015. “Microcredit Has Been a Disaster for the Poorest in South Africa.” The Guardian. Accessed May 5. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2013/nov/19/microcredit-south-africa-loans-disaster.

The Economist. 2011. “Saint under Siege,” January 6. http://www.economist.com/node/17857429.

The Informal Economy

Hart, Keith. n.d. “Informal Economy.” The Memory Bank. http://thememorybank.co.uk/papers/informal-economy/.

———. 1973. “Informal Income Opportunities and Urban Employment in Ghana.” The Journal of Modern African Studies 11 (1): 61–89. doi:10.2307/159873.

40K Foundation. 2015. “40K Globe: Entrepreneurship in India.” Accessed May 5. https://www.40kglobe.com.au/whats-involved-3/

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