Of all the philanthropy bloggers, the one who might best carry the mantel of “critic” (and do so proudly) is Phil Cubeta. Since 2004 when he became one of the first to blog about giving, he has routinely skewered established philanthropy.
Last year he referred to microfinance as “micro loan sharking”. I’ve used the phrase to gently tease Phil from time to time and even put the metaphor to Susan Raymond in a recent podcast.
But Gayle Roberts brings a recent Christian Science Monitor story to our attention in which Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, the founder of the microfinance movement says in regard to for profit microfinance,
"Maybe banks can make a profit from it. There’s no harm in it," says Yunus from his home in Bangladesh. "But this is what loan sharks do."