Invertir en los pobres

La mayoría de la gente cree que al mundo de las finanzas no le preocupa en absoluto el tipo pequeño, toda la gente de bajos y medianos ingresos que, después de todo, aporta poco al saldo final. Las grandes compañías de hoy y los expertos financieros que las conducen -o las compran y las venden- pueden ser generosos con sus iglesias, sus entidades de beneficencia preferidas y sus familiares y amigos, pero sus vidas profesionales están definidas exclusivamente por la búsqueda implacable de ganancias.

Esa percepción puede ser válida en gran medida, pero no enteramente. Consideremos a Muhammad Yunus, ganador del Premio Nobel de la Paz en octubre pasado. Su Grameen Bank, fundado en 1976 en Bangladesh, le ofreció pequeños créditos a la gente más pobre del mundo, ayudando a sacar a muchos prestatarios de la pobreza. El banco ganó dinero y creció con el correr de los años -e inspiró esquemas de microcrédito similares en otras partes.

Ahora bien, ¿la motivación fundamental de Yunus era el dinero? En entrevistas, revela que, en realidad, lo motivaba una profunda compasión por la situación de los pobres en su país. Su objetivo de crear una empresa de préstamo rentable parece haber reflejado su deseo de creer en la honradez de sus clientes. Intentó generar una ganancia a partir de la microfinanciación para poder demostrar la solvencia de la gente marginada y así poder seguir prestándole.

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