Well put

The best quip I saw on Twitter during the McCain/Obama debate came from Chuck Lasker, who wrote, "McCain says he knows how to get Bin Laden, knows how to fix SS, knows how to win wars - why is he holding all this back?" He makes an excellent point. McCain repeatedly declared that fixing those big problems was "easy" and that he knew how to do it. Basically he was claiming that he has a record of doing great things, and on that bases we should assume that he has the ability to fix those particular problems as well.

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)
*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.

Microfinance chart of 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.

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