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By Philip Mader

This publication is helping to appreciate the enigmatic microfinance area through tracing its evolution and asking the way it works as a economy. Our current capitalism is a financialized capitalism, and microfinance is its reaction to poverty. Microfinance has broad-ranging results, attaining 1000's of thousands of individuals and producing huge sales. even supposing systemic flaws became visible, so much strikingly with the 2010 Indian predicament that used to be marked by means of overindebtedness, suicides and violence, the industry's growth keeps unabated. As Philip Mader argues, microfinance heralds much less the top of poverty than new, extra financialized sorts of poverty. whereas microfinance provides to empower, it generates self-discipline and extracts vast assets from the negative, generating new crises and new varieties of dispossession.

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Extra resources for The Political Economy of Microfinance: Financializing Poverty

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For the political economy of microfinance, the presence of a large and increasingly active rentier class that seeks new opportunities to earn non-entrepreneurial returns on capital is an important supply-side factor. However, this rentierist approach largely neglects the cultural and social dimensions that underlie the distributive shift: attitudes, ideologies and identities which must also change. 23 Financialization as coupon pool capitalism and disintermediated finance A third distinct approach focuses on the growing magnitude of financial markets and the nature of the financial work that is done in them.

Institutions are sets of rules of more than just a strictly voluntary nature – though not necessarily enshrined like laws – which shape, and are in turn shaped by, the social structures around them. e. third party enforcement . .

The sheer importance of money to capitalism is exhibited in the start and end points of the M-C-M’ general formula of capital (Marx 1976: 247–257). Following Marx, money is the incarnate representation of the abstraction which is exchange value, money being the “universal equivalent” between different commodities which can only ever be abstractly equal as exchange values (Marx 1973 [1858]: 141–142). Money’s three functions under capitalism, as measure (of value), medium of exchange (circulation) and end in itself (commodity), exist in parallel yet remain contradictory to one another, mirroring key contradictions in capitalism itself.

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