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Rising Above Politics

For the good of the country, John McCain has announced that he is suspending his campaign for president. I applaud this decision, which is certainly in the country's best interests. It is probably too late to actually remove his name from the ballot, but hopefully his supporters will get the message and suspend their plans to vote for him.

It's nice to see that we are finally all agreed on the best way to protect America from certain disaster.

Presidential campaign map

Here's a test of a Google map that shows upcoming public appearances by the U.S. presidential candidates:

Google Map

This is a test of embedding a customized Google Map on a page using Google's My Maps:

Balancing Financial versus Social Returns

Roger Frank, partner, Developing World Markets

"Human impact capital. ... The yield on this is 600 basis points plus 200 basis points of human capital."

Preval Shah, President, Kiva

Kiva is an internet marketplace for MFIs such as Pro Mujer. Today Kiva is a really bad investment or a really great donation, depending on how you want to look at it. Kiva in the future would be something where you could get a risk-adjusted financial return.

Latin America - Another 60 Million Potential Microentrepreneurs

Eric Josephson, head of international development, ECLOF Peru

The Ecumenical Church Loan Fund has a loan fund aimed at addressing poverty, inequality and social injustice.

The poor in urban areas of Peru are already well served in the developed Peruvian microfinance sector. Rural areas much less so. Challenges to a rural presence include the cost of transport/communication; clients have fewer assets than those in cities; scarcity of funding for rural outreach programs.

Appropriate Allocation of Capital and Competition for Microfinance Investment

Moderator: Tracey Pettengill Turner, founder and general manager, MicroPlace (an eBay Company)
Panelists:
*Gil Crawford, CEO, MicroVest Capital Management
*Henk Nijland, Manager, micro and small enterprise fund (MASSIF), and campacity development fund, FMO - Netherlands development finance company

Tracey lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Microcredit in the Middle East

Microfinance chart of the Middle EastThe chart at right is from a Powerpoint presentation by Motaz El Tabaa of the Alexandria Business Association, showing the Gross Loan Portfolio (GLP) in different countries in the middle east.

Benchmarking Microfinance Against Other Asset Classes

Peter Johnson

Is microfinance an asset class? No. It's like "banking" in that regard.

What defines an asset class? Similar characteristics; similar behavior; volume.

Do MF "asset classes" behave distinctly? There isn't enough data, volume, to develop proper benchmarks for measuring behavior.

But MFIs show asset growth despite volatility of other assets, which suggests that they behave differently than other asset classes. "That suggests distinct behavior." MFI net income shows steady growth when other markets have not had steady performance.

Microfinance and Capital Markets

Ira W. Lieberman, Ph.d., LIPAM International, Inc.

The initial listing/public offering of four leading institutions. The four institutions are:
*Banco Compartamos
*Equity ank
*Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI)
*Brac Bank

Microfinance is changing fast now. In the early stages, it was mainly NGOs with assorted models, using mainly donor funds. It's now in the take-off stage, with players including NGOs, banks.. Capital markets represent an additional option to raise funds for MFIs.

Bank Rakya Indonesia (BRI)

Equity Investment Exit Strategies and the Future of a Secondary Market

Presenter: Alex Silva, President and Founder, OMTRIX Financial Consultants and former director, PROFUND

Emily says he (and PROFUND) are some of the coolest things she's seen in the field of microfinance in terms of what they've accomplished.

Vikam Akula, CEO, SKS

SKS is the largest microfinance institution in India. Current portfolio is $320 million; portfolio at risk is less than 1 percent; 10% profit margin.

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