It was a beautiful dream: Poor farmers in developing countries should be given a chance – with a few euro loans. But seeing evidence that microcredit is not a panacea. When banks lend recklessly money that quickly leads to crisis. This is the same in India.
E ga Mounika saw the solution to the plight of her family. 10,000 Indian rupees (166 euros) they borrowed from a microfinance organization. So she bought a sewing machine. From then on she was mending morning the clothes of their neighbors in the village in the impoverished Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, in the afternoon she studied. All went well until the family, not in a week interest rates could pay. She took a second loan. “Shortly after we sat on four loans over 80,000 rupees from four banks,” said Egas father Laxmi Narayan. With their monthly income of 4,500 rupees but they could never afford interest and repayments of 1,000 rupees a month. Moneylenders offered them then to bridge loans over 5000 rupees to 120 percent interest. The debt collector was more and more uncomfortable. In the end, they suggested the mother Ega sell her to a brothel. End of September, the Twenty burned.
That should not have happened. A few months ago were the microcredit all the rage in development aid: a means by which to help the poor at the same time and even takes money – however, no one had any objections. In 2006, the microcredit banker Muhammad Yunus got for its shops even the Nobel Peace Prize. And the industry flourished. 2003 had only 25 million people get a mini credit world, there were 2009 three times as many. The value of loans increased eight even. There are now microcredit initiatives around the world.
In Asia today little run without the loans, especially in the country – whether in India, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia. In the villages, the poverty-stricken people confidence that they can borrow money. Although the banks require up to 30 percent interest. But that is still much less than the loan sharks want – and there is a good reason for the high-interest rates after all lending in the country is very expensive.
Apparently falls despite the high cost even profit from. As the success of microcredit word spread, many commercial microfinance banks set. Some charity even changed its focus and went public, such as “Compartamos” in Mexico and “SKS Microfinance” in India. SKS gained a 350-million dollars from investors reviewed the entire company on this transaction at 1.6 billion dollars.
This caused trouble, especially in India. Because apparently, the new mini banks exercised with a view to their profit from so much pressure on the debtors that they broke. In the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, some farmers committed suicide in the fall because they could not pay their interest. Thus began a crisis that Indian politicians call “sub-prime crisis of India”. The government ordered lower lending rates and required that banks only allowed to collect a month instead of weekly interest rates again. The engagement of the policy led to a screeching halt in the industry. Vasant Kumar, Minister for Rural Development in Andhra Pradesh, defended the action. “How to know which of the small lenders are criminal and what louder if we do not regulate? In recent years, we did not have the strength to do it, now we have to the government.”
The neighbors in Bangladesh used the new poor image of microcredit banks to put Nobel laureate Yunus under pressure with which they are already long at loggerheads. They dug out an old accusation that Yunus had embezzled aid from Norway. Although Norwegian inspectors but have long since dispelled the accusation that in Bangladesh the debate goes on. Moreover, Yunus is accused of defamation because he had once accused the government greed. In an appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he had to do without.