[DEBATE] : Re: Critique of Yunus
book at kaapeli.fi
Fri Oct 20 10:07:57 BST 2006
Patrick Bond, greetings, and thank you so much for "A Nobel loan shark?
+ the copies of "Hype and Hope: The Worrisome State of the Microcredit
Movement" by Thomas Dichter, and "My Comments on the Nobel Peace Prize for
Dr Yunus and Grameen Bank of Bangladesh" by Taj Hashmi!
I consider these critiques of micro-financing to be highly interesting and
However, even if I do not believe for a minute that there can really be a
capitalism with a human face, I must say that I prefer the capitalists
with good intentions to the Enronesque crooks. So I am still willing to
congratulate dr Yunus for his good will and personal engagement. I do not
see the enemy in him.
Therefore, if we had an oldstyle Revolution, and I were the one keeping
the list of the oppressors to be hanged, then I would delete Dr Yunus'
name from it.
Would you like to keep Yunus' name on that list?
Peter Waterman wrote (15 Oct):
"I would have thought that emancipatory political-economists should be
concerning themselves with not simply a critique, far less a dismissal,
of the Grameen Bank, than an alternative to such."
What alternatives have we come up with?
Thomas Dichter, in his piece, speaks about the need for " a far larger,
more coordinated effort, such as organised efforts to train farmers, buy
their produce, and certify, package and find export customers for it."
Does this mean that, if microcredits were combined with that "larger,
more coordinated effort", then it would work?
Who would / will do that effort? Some kind of Social Democratic government
of the national state in question?
Or, should we try to design a kind of bank that is more like "the
rights-based social movements which have demanded ?rights? in terms of
free lifeline access to healthcare, education, housing, land, water,
electricity and the like" (Patrick Bond), as contrasted with the "right to
credit" which is propagated by dr Yunus?
We have to take these questions seriously. I for one do not believe that
Social Democratic governments of the national states will be able to solve
the problem: How to construct a new global financial system, which is
better and more just than the non-system we have today?
To begin with, we must rethink our concepts of bank and money.(It is clear
that we will need different banks and different money.) It is not
difficult to understand that this problem is closely linked to the
development of the digital information technology. As I wrote earlier (and
as numerous others have said), money and information are converging -- or
at least converging in new ways. At one point in the nineties, some people
believed that we would get Digicash. We didn't, but that does not
necessarily mean that Digicash is a totally wrong idea. Keynes wanted a
sytem with 'bancor', an international currency that would be used by a
world bank in order to balance the trade deficits. The time has come to
revive the idea of an international currency. The USD is bound to collapse
in an overseeable future (Gabriel Kolko, in his recent Messay in Monde
diplomatique says as much).
The new system of world finances has to be a public system, in fact, a
public service. Once more, we encounter the 'information', because public
means, among other things, open to public scrutiny. I repeat: the banks
must become more like the public libraries which, ideally, try to make all
information available without delay to all people.
- Mikael Böök
Mikael Böök * book at kaapeli.fi * gsm +358(0)-44 5511 324 *
http://www.kaapeli.fi/book/ * http://blogi.kaapeli.fi/book/
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