Maintaining a self-described journal of economics and development is not easy work, particularly for someone such as myself who knows little about either subject and is engaged in a Madoff-esque Ponzi scheme of information, feeding you, the reader, the bare minimum required to appear legitimate, all the while stalling until I can glean a few more obvious and redundant points from the thinkers and load them into my plagiarism machine, which spits out stolen, yet relatively untraceable, drivel. In my defense, I at least have the decency to take other people’s thoughts and ideas and craft them into readable, albeit trite, pieces of prose. And that is more than the hacks that re-post content on “Twitter” can say. For them, the format and process is usually consistent – the poster reads an article, then writes a brief summary/statement followed by a question - “#CGAP says some #microfinance markets becoming saturated and competitive. What does this mean for interest rates?” - and consider themselves journalists of a type. Actually, I should say I had the decency. With this post – a collection of links – I am throwing that decency (incidentally, the only decency I had left) out the window.
No longer am I a hack journalist. Now I am a hack link aggregator. I gave up. I couldn’t even bring myself to repackage one of my other posts and give it an academically self-righteous name designed to confuse the layman – “Competition, Saturation, Interest Rates, and Microfinance,” for example. In fact, I was considering writing an update on the woefully under-reported upcoming trial of disgraced Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, but even that was too much effort. It would have at least given me a chance to draw some yucks by kicking a politician when he is down, but I couldn’t bring myself to actually care about what I was reading. So instead I’m giving you a list of articles that, regardless of caliber, are relatively fresh in my memory. To those of you that subscribe to this journal via email – I will understand if you remove me from your mailing list. But before you do, remember that this website survives on ad revenue. Or the prospect of ad revenue. Or the prospect of the prospect of ad revenue. So please, have mercy.
Romanticizing the Poor: The problem with the entrepreneur narrative in microfinance and poverty alleviation. Is it harmful? I don’t think so, but the author of this article does.
- The Battle for the Soul of Microfinance: The best overview of the key issues in microfinance I have read. It is dated, but the questions today are exactly the same.
- The Commercialization of Microfinance: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly offers an overview of the the the different debates being had over high interest rates, sustainability, and scalability…from two years ago. The questions never change, only the facts.
- Kiva Is Not Quite What It Seems: Is Kiva misleading you? Does it matter? The post that started it all.
- Banks Making Big Profits From Small Loans: The interest rate and the social mission debate, distilled to its most fundamental essence.
- Does Microfinance Really Help Poor People? A good question to be answered here, given the majority of the content in this journal.
- Interested in mobile banking? Read about the Dungganon Card, a revolutionary program being piloted by Negros Women for Tomorrow
- Raze Spin Alley: The press is lying to you.
- Attention Whole Foods Shoppers: Read this.
- The Rove Presidency: A profile of one of my least-favorite people and oft-target of this journal as being the cause of many of the world’s problems
- Sudan: Key Post Referendum Issues: Want to talk world politics with George Clooney? Now you can, with this overview of the challenges facing the Sudan.
- An Ode to Farming: A photographic celebration of the world’s producers, across the world.
- “Prison Audit”: The need for comprehensive prison reform in the United States is discussed in the latest from the commentarians at The Inductive.
- Turbulence: David Sedaris reflects on something funny.
- The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment: The new generational divide in how we young American Jews relate to Israel
- A Little Learning: Jeffrey Goldberg sits down with Douglas Feith. A great piece for anyone interested in why we are at war with Iraq.
- Why Neoconservative Pundits Love Jon Stewart: Isn’t it obvious?
Link of the Week: Every question you ever had about anything is answered here