Yunus

My economist friend just won the Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Yunus was principal technical advisor to a project I undertook to establish a microcredit program at the Agency for International Development in 1987. We worked together for a few years (1985 - 1990 and since), and Yunus on several occasions, stayed in my house in Gaithersburg, when he was visiting Washington DC. I was delighted to learn that he has finally won the international acclaim that his extraordinary achievement has long deserved. But it should have been Economics and Peace. If ever a man deserved a double from the Nobel Committee it is Dr. Muhammad Yunus, professor of economics, Chittagong University, founder and Managing Director of the Grameen Bank, Bangladesh and of the Grameen Trust. (Grameen = village, rural).

The Grameen Bank in Bangladesh is the most successful human endeavor in existence. Working in the poorest country in the world (in 1974 a famine killed more than a million people in Bangladesh) and with no more than $27, Yunus created a miracle. Astonishing ingenuity, combined with radical faith in his fellow human beings led him to an economic discovery that could rightly be considered the exact opposite of economics as we know it.