Taking money from the poor

In his article on micro-credit, the Undercover Economist Tim Harford asks “Does no-one want to take money from the poor?”

An interesting quote:

The trouble with living on two dollars a day is that you don’t actually get two dollars a day. One day you might get five, then nothing for the next three days. Income is unpredictable. Outgoings, too, are irregular. Emergencies crop up. Under the circumstances, the most basic financial product, such as an easy-access savings account, would be invaluable.

Obvious perhaps, but something I had never given thought to.

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1 Comment

  1. Forgotten in the UK, poor people always save more money. This is why HSBC is now one of the biggest banks in the world, and the only healthy bank in the UK – from the savings of the Chinese who earn two dollars a day.

    This is also why RBS was previously a powerful bank. Because (poorer) Scottish people used to save money.

    What people in the rich world forget, is that they weren’t always rich and they won’t always be either. Borrowing accelerates your earnings in a boom market but also leaves you in negative territory in a recession. People had forgotten this.


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