Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus was profiled this morning on This Week with George Stephanopolous. After seeing pawnshops, check-cashing counters and payday lenders in the American cities he has visited, Yunus decided to bring Grameen Bank to New York City. The bank makes microcredit loans primarily to low-income women in the community.
The check-cashing industry in particular irks Yunus. “It’s very humiliating that I have a check, even a government check, I cannot get it cashed.,” he said. “So I have to go to cash checking, and I have to spend a lot of money … and this is my hard-earned money. But I cannot take it to the bank and get the cash. … And then payday loans — this is another big business. That means a failure of the system.”