Thank you for your kind words zman.
As you expressed an interest in studies on the effectiveness of microfinance, I'll show you three links that I have come across in my research, though they do not play a central role in my article as the point of my article is not to establish the substantive efficacy of GB and micro-finance (I'm not qualified to do that) but to better understand its legal status and working.
1. Lamia Karim (2008) "Demystifying Micro-Credit: The Grameen Bank, NGOs and Neoliberalism in Bangladesh" Cultural Dynamics 20(1): 5-29 (The article is attached)
Dr. Lamia Karim teaches at the University of Oregon. In her own words, it is an article that is an interpretation of variable, contingent, and local expressions of grassroots globalization through an ethnographic study of globalization and neoliberalism in rural Bangladesh. It examines how globalization and neoliberalism are brought to the grassroots—the most intimate sphere of the social, the home and women—through the modernist discourse of women’s empowerment through micro-credit...she examines how Bangladeshi rural women’s honor and shame are instrumentally appropriated by NGOs in the welfare of their capitalist interests.
2. Brennpunkt, "Norad has changed strategy: No More Financing of New MFIs" (19.06.2012) Available online at:
NRK is the TV channel and Brennpunkt is the programme on which the controversial Norwegian documentary "Caught in Micro Credit" was aired. They raised the issue of the irregular fund transfers between Grameen Bank and Grameen Kalyan, which was then later dismissed by Eric Solheim, the then Minister for Development and the Environment, as having been resolved amicably. However, this article shows how the pendulum so to speak. Norad will no longer sponsor micro finance institutions. This is incredibly significant as they have provided hundreds of millions of kroners to institutions like GB since 1986. I'll take you to the quote of Trond Viken, the spokesperson for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and thus of NORAD as well: "Norad pays close attention to the global trends within micro finance, and this includes research on the effects of micro finance. Norad is well aware of the discussions that goes on, on the possible need for credit checks, a possible credit register, regulations of the sector on national level and new systems to ensure openness and transparency in the sector."
3. Duvendack M, Palmer-Jones R, Copestake JG, Hooper L, Loke Y, Rao N (2011) What is the evidence of the impact of microfinance on the well-being of poor people? London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. Available online here:
This is the policy brief (executive summary) of a comprehensive study done by DFID on the soundness of studies done on microfinance, as well as the efficacy of microfinance in general. It is to be remembered that the UK Development Agency has also provided MFIs in Bangladesh with substantial sums of money. I would obviously recommend reading the full report for those who are genuinely interested but the gist of the article is clear from this: "Despite the apparent success and popularity of microfinance, there is no clear evidence yet that microfinance programmes have broadly positive impacts for most participants. While anecdotes and other inspiring stories purport to show that microfinance can make a real difference in the lives of those served, rigorous quantitative evidence on the nature, magnitude and balance of microfinance impact is still scarce and inconclusive."