Debt Capacity and the Role of Credit in the Private Economy
This book suggests how good loans can be made to individuals and firms at the 'frontier'. This frontier is not geographic, but market based. On one side are those parts of the legitimate economy that are not usually considered creditworthy by formal financial institutions, and on the other are the generally more prosperous entities that do have access to formal finance. Good loans are loans that are repaid according to the terms agreed on when they were issued. It examines how lending at the frontier can be remunerative to commercial banks, development banks and other development finance agencies that retail credit and assume credit risk. Remunerative lending is important because most lenders, regardless of their ownership and institutional form, tend to avoid activities that are not attractive. Unremunerative lending is transitory, unstable, and not robust in the face of adversity. Credit markets function poorly when lenders are not adequately rewarded. Experience at the frontier clearly indicates that weak financial institutions do not do a good job serving society in general and firms and individuals at the frontier in particular. This book is intended for readers interested in the relationship between finance and development at the firm and household levels and in the use of credit by individuals in low-income countries.