Fall from Grace? In 2006, Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace

Prize. The prize brought new attention to the role of the Grameen Bank as a pioneer

of microfinance. Those opposed to the Grameen model of microfinance had to

acknowledge its contributions to development. “Yunus was one of the early

visionaries who believed in the idea of poor people as viable, worthy, attractive

clients for loans,’’ said Elizabeth Littlefield, CEO of CGAP, a donor forum based in

the World Bank that advocates a market-based approach to development. And “that

simple notion has put in motion a huge range of imitators and innovators who have

taken that idea and run with it, improved on it, expanded it” (Dugger 2006). For a

moment, the Washington consensus on poverty, anchored by institutions such as

CGAP, seemed shaky.