book 2 of 10 for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge
genre: non-fiction, memoir, economics
I am amazed by how the author of this book, Muhammad Yunus, has taken the world and attempted to turn it on its head. Banker to the Poor tells the story Yunus's entrance into the world of micro-credit, wherein the poorest of the poor are given small loans without any collateral and with the expectation that the loan will be repaid in full. From his first gut-reaction loan to a person clearly in need, to a multi-national, billion dollar enterprise, Yunus has created an organization whose goals are nearly completely opposite of any other financial institution.
What I loved most about the book are the personal stories, the experiences of those whose lives have been changed by the micro-credit model. It is amazing to realize what a differnce $40 can make to a person who earns pennies every day. The set-up of the bank itself was interesting to me also, although sometimes the economic discussions got thick for me and might turn some readers off. I like that I feel more informed about Bangladesh itself, since Yunus does take time to give us some of his personal background and experiences in his home country.
The book was inspiring and it certainly can leave the reader wanting to do DO more to alleviate poverty. For the most part, it read like a novel and certainly proves that Muhammad Yunus deserves that Nobel Peace Prize he received - it's inspiring to see one man impacting so many lives for good and with such good intentions.