Friday, April 13, 2007

Muhammad Yunus

For those readers out there who see the "black helicopters" that are key to most conspiracy theories -- I don't just see them I can SMELL them approaching :-) -- a name like "World Bank" will give you nightmares since it smacks of world government of course. But what the heck do they do and will my ATM card work there??:

"The World Bank (WB) is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the common sense. We are made up of two unique development institutions owned by 185 member countries—the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).
Each institution plays a different but supportive role in our mission of global poverty reduction and the improvement of living standards. The IBRD focuses on middle income and creditworthy poor countries, while IDA focuses on the poorest countries in the world. Together we provide low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, communications and many other purposes."

This week the WB (the bank not the failed TV network) finds itself in the midst of a scandal where its President, Paul Wolfowitz, is facing increasing pressure to resign because he helped secure salary increases for his girlfriend -- Shaha Ali Riza -- when she worked at the World Bank at a (TAX FREE) salary of $132,660 (which is nearly $180,000 in real terms at a 35% income tax rate, very rough estimate but damn good money either way).

While I am no fan of the WB (the bank or the TV network!!) I don't see the "185 member countries" dissolving it so if it must exist let's get a President who has actually eliminated poverty via his professional work in the field of micro-credit/micro-lending:

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006, divided into two equal parts, to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank for their efforts to create economic and social development from below. Lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty. Micro-credit is one such means. "

"President Muhammad Yunus" has a nice sound to it -- President of the WB I mean. I don't want to set him up for failure at the WB since he would have to overcome the bureaucrats there but assuming he is given free rein to use the WB's resources to focus on micro-credit, versus macro projects like hydro electric dams in African jungles, which he did at the Grameen Bank just imagine the possibilities!! We might actually seen a decline in poverty in our lifetimes. The WB and similar organizations (United Nations Development Fund for example) have failed miserably at this goal with their "macro" approaches so it is time we go "micro" with Mr. Yunus economic model.

Central planning perpetuates poverty,


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