Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: 4/1/10

The article in the url below discusses a few of the problems that have resulted from the recent explosion in the development of the microfinance industry (Issues: Loans, p188). To some degree, microfinance is now a victim of its own success. Generally, the microfinance industry has been changed by the influx of for-profit companies that have learnt from successful nonprofits to develop a business model that relies on the high repayment rates that are typical within the sector.

With profit as a stronger concentrate, however, these new microfinance lenders are increasing rates of interest and introducing much more liberal requirements for extending credit. The principal focus of this article, however, is on the continued success of traditional moneylenders in India (who charge higher interest rates), who are flourishing regardless of the success of microfinance. “Some microfinance borrowers say they need community moneylenders to help them pay their debt on time. … Peer pressure to pay back microfinance loans is extreme, because microlenders always require debtors to join small almost, tight knit groups.

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If one member defaults, none of them can get another loan. “… the moneylenders are virtually indistinguishable from the microlenders. They send out knock-off versions of the microlenders’ passbooks. Some use the same weekly repayment door-to-door and structure service as the microlenders do. The difference, however, would be that the moneylenders give loans faster, without asking the women to create groups and serve as each other’s guarantors, as microfinance lenders do in order to ensure a higher repayment rate.

On Thursday, Amtrak’s City of New Orleans passenger train smashed into a pickup truck at a railroad crossing in Independence killing two workmen. Four times before, the same teach killed a man and three young ladies in a pickup truck in Roseland, about 10 miles from the picture of Thursday’s fatal wreck.

Both crossings acquired only crossbuck signs and no caution lights. The town council met Thursday and drafted an answer contacting the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to decelerate trains. The council also wants to install crossing guards. Killed Thursday were two men who were within an electrical contractor’s bucket truck, Tangipahoa Parish sheriff’s spokesman Chuck Reed said. The men were identified as Tyler Davis Jr., 23, of Ponchatoula, and Dan Warren, 35, of Amite. Davis, the drivers, is the son of a Hammond programmer who lost another kid to a scuba accident several years ago, Reed said.

GA- Charges will never be filed against the pickup truck driver involved in a crash that killed a Henry County police officer en route to a burglary call early Wednesday morning hours. Officials said the drivers “did everything possible” to avoid hitting the police officer. But three men were charged in connection with the burglary, the officer was headed for.

The three allegedly tripped a security alarm at Premier Wireless at 110 Eagle’s Landing Parkway about 5 a.m. Wednesday, sending police to the scene. One of the responding officials was slightly harmed when he was hit by the fleeing suspects’ car, said Henry County police Lt. Jason Bolton. Officers fired pictures at the suspects, but no one was strike, Bolton said.