Week of February 2, 2015

1.  Mobile Banking:  Rural customers in India rely on local bank agents and business correspondents to open new accounts.  But the requirement (and cost incurred) for holding cash to cover withdrawals during busy periods is not worth the banking agents' while.  Could mobile money pose a solution?  The Economist

2.  Microcredit:  What happens when microcredit clients default? The answer depends mostly on where they live.  Smart Campaign

3.  Regulation and Development:  Hernando de Soto played a  major role in putting property rights on the development agenda. Planet Money profiles him, where his ideas came from, and the impact they've had.  NPR's Planet Money

4.  Bitcoin:  The recent collapse of bitcoin prices and the introduction of third-party agents to process transactions is leaving many in the cryptocurrency community disillusioned.  Is this the beginning of the end for bitcoin?  Financial Times

5.  Debt:  Croatia canceled the debts of over 300,000 of its poorest citizens, allowing them to access their blocked bank accounts.  However, some economists are concerned that if lenders think mass debt relief is a future possibility, they will charge low-income borrowers very high interest rates.  Washington Post

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