Alabama Church Pays Off Payday Loans

About twenty years ago I made some terrible choices and found myself in a serious financial bind. The amount I needed wasn’t much — about $200 — but without it I wouldn’t have been able to pay my rent. Continue Reading...

Jean Marie’s Abundant Harvest

“For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” -Isaiah 61:11 Jean Marie owns a restaurant and farm in southern Rwanda. Continue Reading...

Predatory … borrowers?

Yesterday I blogged about the unintended consequences of the federal government’s mandate that Stafford student loan interest rates would not double as scheduled on July 1. Organizations such as the Jubilee USA Network praised the government’s action as an act of Christian charity towards students who were oppressed and taken advantage of by unscrupulous lenders. Continue Reading...

Obama to Small Businesses: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.

In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama commented that “even though banks on Wall Street are lending again, they’re mostly lending to bigger companies. Financing remains difficult for small-business owners across the country, even though they’re making a profit.” He then offered some of our tax dollars to help: “So tonight, I’m proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat.” The irony is that our government helped create this problem in the first place, both Republicans and Democrats. Continue Reading...

Circus Bailouts vs. Market Correction

In college I wrote a paper for a Latin American Politics class titled, Barnum & Bailey Circus bailouts. The paper took the position that another financial bailout of Mexico would be a huge mistake and would not be money well spent. Continue Reading...

Micro-Finance: A Way Out of Poverty

In awarding the Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, the Nobel Committee has focused the world’s attention on the power of “bottom up” economic development. Jennifer Roback Morse reminds us that “the micro-credit movement has helped many of the poor become less poor, and to lift themselves, their families, and their neighbors out of abject poverty.” Dr. Continue Reading...