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Thank you for the article on MicroFinance. I couldn't even finish it. Shocked.

I used Kiva.org in the 2000s to lend to poor people in far away countries. The idea was that small loans can help people, whom banks ignore, to build their family businesses. It also helped the in-country MF institutions (tiny banks) to grow. They said interest was around 12%. Progressive, no?

I just logged into Kiva, I see I made 99 loans. All were paid back in full, except for one I stupidly made to an American inner city guy, as Kiva changed to try to be more inclusive. For several reasons I stopped: fewer loans available after financial crisis, big groups instead of individuals, loan payoffs were growing in length to 2 years. When I started, loans were for 6 months, for $100, $250, and my $25 felt meaningful, plus gratification and ability to re-loan came sooner.

Now Kiva is ridiculous. 5 women want $2000 for chickens. Sheesh, how many chickens? A lady wants $1750 to build a toilet. That's way too much for labor. A woman needs $2150 for school supplies for her kid. In Saigon pubic school is not free, $50 a month, but supplies just cost dollars.

So I learned: MFIs never cared about their people, cash corrupted them into loan sharks who can reach far more people. Nice progressive project.

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