Microfinance in Crisis: the Case of the Hidden City

Co-authored with Karuna Krishnaswamy; MicrofinanceFocus, 25 January 2011

Hyderabad has gone missing.  And it seems nobody has noticed the absence.  While academics and the press were scouring the villages of Andhra Pradesh in search of over-indebted borrowers and debt-induced suicides, and while politicians in the villages and government halls were busy protecting their beloved SHGs (and the vote banks they provide), Hyderabad up and vanished, leaving apparently no trace of its prior existence.

Naturally, we are referring not to the physical city, but to its microfinance market, as well as those of other cities in Andhra Pradesh.  Make no mistake – microfinance lending in urban AP has been widespread, outpacing even that of the countryside.  And yet, there seems to be little recognition of its existence and how it has been affected by the current crisis.  more →