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One of the things that make blogs particularly interesting are series. The “series” series recommends series at related blogs.

When Daniel Rozas warns, I listen. Rozas forecasted the crisis of microfinance which broke out in India in late 2010, warning as early as November 2009 that Andhra Pradesh was the most saturated microfinance market in the world alongside Bangladesh, and mass defaults could begin any time.

2009:

I can’t predict whether the microfinance bubble I believe exists and continues to grow in Andhra Pradesh and other south Indian states will deflate quietly or burst spectacularly. […] In their pursuit of growth, many MFIs have continued to add large numbers of new customers in Andhra Pradesh and other highly saturated regions – I believe that is irresponsible. […] The spark that sets off a large-scale delinquency crisis can be anything and could come at any time – a rapid drop in economic growth, a populist political movement, a religious decree, or a collections effort gone bad.  One can’t control the spark, but one can control how much fuel that spark can ignite.

Since this February, Rozas has been outlining the scenario of a possible further repayment crisis in a series of posts (links to parts 2 & 3) on the Financial Access Initiative Blog. He says self-regulatory efforts over the past years have been important, but perhaps not enough to stem lending excesses in certain countries (I would agree). Looking at indebtedness and lending at the sub-national level, Rozas reveals a fairly alarming picture in the Mexican state Chiapas, which shows similar patterns to Andhra Pradesh in 2009.

But it is Rozas’ attunement to the political economy of microlending which sets him apart from most sector consultants. Read the rest of this entry »

The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
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