lunes, enero 21, 2008

On other blogs: A trend that must be accelerated

My comments on A trend that must be accelerated, by J.Pozuelo-Monfort

Once again... bravo! Reading that the current "market penetration" for micro-credits is only at 4% is an eye opener (the expression of "market penetration" is based on seeing the 4 billion poorest at the Bottom of the Pyramid from a market perspective).


Still, it is clear to me that this approach of micro-credits and micro-lending is truly a more reliable way to redistribute wealth, but I would take it a step further: have ordinary people be the ones lending to those in need, instead of relying on the banks or financial institutions, who as you mention, are still more focused on maximizing profits and returns, and who see this segment as unfit and too risky for credit.


There are currently several organizations doing this, such as Kiva.org, Prosper.com, Zopa.com and Smava.de


You also mention that more regulation is needed, I see this as a "top-down" approach that should be complimented with a "bottom-up" counterpart like this personal micro-lending, along with more social entrepreneurship and less corporations that maximize profits first (and extending the poverty gap) and create Foundations later (which tend to be more focused on tax cuts) or create Corporate Responsibility policies (which tend to be more focused on marketing and image). It should be inherit in all business practices, business models, even ordinary activities from regular people.


By the way... all the hype surrounding the biofule should be sending off alarms, it should be "no, no", we really need to do a couple of things:

1. focus on other alternative sources of renewable energy that don't imply using food for fueling cars instead of feeding the world
2. focus on reducing our energy consumption, a very interesting read is "objective decroissance", although some suggestions I find a bit extreme, the underlying reasoning is solid and there are several very practical suggestions. Also an interesting compliment is www.storyofstuff.com

Finally, as you also mention, we have to push the politics into this mind-frame, and now is the time since both Spain and the US are in full gear for elections, to really get involved and get the candidates involved. On a personal note, for the US, Brack Obama has my unofficial support ;-)


Until next time Jaime :-)


GA

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