Archive for the 'detritus' Category

Microfinance is good business

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

From The Financial Times www.ft.com

Helping the poor just got popular

Sophia Grene. Financial Times. London (UK): Nov 9, 2009. pg. 8

“Microfinance ; Investors are attracted by the sector’s crisis-proof qualities as well as the social aspect, says Sophia Grene

Since Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel prize in 2006 along with the Grameen Bank he founded for the poverty-bound entrepreneurs of Bangladesh, microfinance has entered the consciousness of the investment community.

The concept of lending small amounts to very poor women, each borrower part of a group that is jointly responsible for repayment, has been extended and modified as it moved to different economies with other requirements. The common thread is providing relatively small loans to people who would otherwise not have banking facilities.

While the original concept was all about lending a helping hand to lift people out of poverty, the inevitable result of the structure was that investors would see it as an opportunity.

Grameen Bank itself cannot look for investment from outside Bangladesh for legal reasons, but a myriad of other microfinance institutions are not so bound and globally some $7bn (pound(s)4.2bn, EUR4.7bn) is invested in MFIs. An equivalent amount is committed by donation, but the invested money is expected to be repaid with interest. (more…)

Popular protests against microfinance in Nicaragua

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

From nacla.org/node/6180

Confronted by the bold protests of the Movimiento de Productores, Comerciantes y Microempresarios de Nueva Segovia, or more colloquially as the No Pago (I Won’t Pay) movement, politicians are growing increasingly nervous that the group’s protests are scaring away international investors and could strike a heavy blow against the country’s shaky economy.

The first signs of unrest appeared more than a year ago, following remarks made by President Daniel Ortega at a political rally in the northwestern province of Jalapa. The region was simmering with tension after a large microfinance corporation had six debtors arrested. Their families chose to barricade the highways for 11 days in protest.

“We need to end this policy of usury,” Ortega told a crowd on July 12. “Instead of protesting on the streets, protest before the offices of usurers and plant yourselves before them. Stand firm, for we support you!”

Ten days later, borrowers behind in their loan payments tried to burn down a microfinance office in the department of Nueva Segovia. Some time afterward, debtors stormed another MFI and refused to let personnel leave the building; the resulting showdown with police left one civilian blinded from a rubber bullet. (more…)

Resource war in Congo and green capitalism

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

video_button_white_dred.gifThis is a “democracy now” clip on the current Congo’s resource war and its links to green and communication capitalism. To what extent the new green capitalist governance paradigm that is being taking shape these days will depend on war like these? And to what extent war like these are fundamental to reshape Africa’s role in the new global political economy?


Migration and Commoning

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifIn this short documentary, we have a glimpse of the processes of “commoning”, that is the production of commons involved in migration processes. Communities of Mexican migrants collect money in upstate New York and fund social projects in their hometown of Boqueron, Mexico. Projects include ambulances, sport facilities, a well . . . In this way, the communities cut their dependence on corrupt governments, strengthen their cohesion and create the conditions for a dignified and return for those who so desire. In the United States there are about one thousands groups like the one featured here. The video is produced by MediaRights

Toxic tour: Durban, South Africa

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

D. is a big man, proud of his leadership qualities, and proud of being able to kick the asses of shell and bp corporate directors . . .he takes us to Durban south, where he leaves, and breathe the shit coming out of the refineries, down there in front of the block of flat where we leave him after the toxic tour . . .refineries pouring shit that kids breathe, aunties breathe, mothers breathe, fathers breath . . .they build houses, I mean their houses, right on top of the ridge with a view to the refineries . . . .chemicals fly up, right in their lungs . . .and the pipelines they got to replace not long ago was a great victory,rottenpipe.jpg the damn rusted pipeline that crossed the ridge in between the the refineries valley and the harbor, . . .leeking its shit in the hearth, so much shit, that it appeared one day through the house floors, and even in the swimming pools of those who had one . .. black waters, swim in the shit . . .reparation?, yes, reparation! . . . houses sandwiched in between oil depots, the common condition of detritus, (more…)