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Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic by Hugh Sinclair

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11 Enter the New York Times

Terry and I had discussed the LAPO case with a number of journalists who were beginning to take a hard look at the microfinance sector. On April 14, 2010, Neil MacFarquhar of the New York Times published a front-page article entitled “Banks Making Big Profits from Tiny Loans,” which criticized the microfinance sector in general, mentioned LAPO in particular, and named three investors explicitly: Kiva, Deutsche Bank, and Calvert Foundation, which was raising money for LAPO on the MicroPlace platform.

Until recently, MicroPlace, which is part of eBay, was promoting LAPO to individual investors, even though the website says the lenders it features have interest rates between 18 and 60 percent, considerably less than ...

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