Articles by Milford Bateman
Transforming Microcredit After COVID-19: Why ‘Building Back Better’ Will Require a Radical Reboot of Local Financial Systems in the Global South
Microcredit advocates have expressed the expectation that the industry can play a major role in economic and social recovery in the Global South after the COVID-19 pandemic. But economist Milford Bateman argues that shifting these micro-lending programs into community-owned financial institutions would make a more substantial impact. He shares a roadmap for empowering community-focused economies, and explores how a plan modeled after elements of the U.S.'s New Deal could transform local finance.
The Cambodian government recently shocked its microcredit industry by capping interest rates at 18 percent – about half the current rate of most loans. Many analysts sympathetic to the industry have strongly criticized the move, but Milford Bateman argues it's actually an important step in protecting the poor – and resolving an "existential crisis" in a sector plagued by unsustainable growth and high over-indebtedness.
NexThought Monday (1/20/14) – The Tragic Failure of Microcredit: Yunus’ dream has become a nightmare for the global poor
Microcredit was devised as a free market solution that would enable the global poor to escape their own poverty by starting an income-generating activity. But Milford Bateman argues that due to deregulation, commercialization - and fundamental flaws in the model - microcredit has instead undermined developing economies and trapped the poor in a cycle of debt.
- Impact Assessment
Trouble Brewing in Microfinance?: Peru and Mexico’s microcredit sectors appear to be in danger of collapsing – and the market-driven model is to blame
In spite of its well-publicized struggles, the market-driven microcredit model remains a revered concept, linked to the belief that free markets and business solutions are the best solutions to poverty. But according to Milford Bateman, flaws in the market-driven model itself are responsible for grave challenges facing Peru and Mexico’s celebrated microcredit sectors.
- Impact Assessment