Writing for Harper’s magazine, Thomas Frank:
Microlending is a perfect expression of Clintonism, since it brings together wealthy financial interests with rhetoric that sounds outrageously idealistic. Microlending permits all manner of networking, posturing, and profit taking among the lenders while doing nothing to change actual power relations — the ultimate win-win.
By the way, in the same issue of the magazine, the Index reports that 9.6 million U.S. households lack a bank account.
I should have added this from Frank’s essay:
As strategies for ending poverty go, microlending appears to be among the worst that has ever been tried, just one step up from doing nothing at all to help the poor.