Micro-finance has been a long-lived development fashion and in 2005 it enjoyed the accolade of a UN International Year. Many of the world's biggest multinational banks are now eagerly committing quite substantial sums to it, for business as well as public relations purposes. However, there are some important problems which risk being ignored or are fleetingly observed but then swept under the carpet in the current euphoria. The authors sound a timely and overdue warning to governments, bankers, donors and the general public and urges people to pause, reassess their expectations, re-think some policies and to recognise that microfinance is never a panacea and may sometimes be actively damaging to its intended customers. This important book will be of interest to students of microfinance, microfinance practitioners internationally, bankers, government ministries and NGO donor agencies, training institutions, and academics in finance, economics and sociology.
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