When free markets fail to serve the poor, these people don’t like free markets. When free markets succeed in serving the poor, these people don’t like free markets. There seems to be a pattern here. If only I could figure out what it is.
Helping the poor may be virtuous, but when the poverty industry starts losing “clients” because the market is performing good works, watch out.
Compartamos Banco knows what it’s like to have a tarnished halo. The Mexican bank specializes in microfinancing for low-income entrepreneurs in a country that never used to have a financial industry serving the poor. Compartamos not only figured out how to meet the needs of this excluded population, but also how to make money at it.