Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

bonsai tree

Japanese Black Pine, Japanese Friendship Garden, San Diego, h/t

“To me, the poor are like Bonsai trees. When you plant the best seed of the tallest tree in a six-inch deep flower pot, you get a perfect replica of the tallest tree, but it is only inches tall. There is nothing wrong with the seed you planted; only the soil-base you provided was inadequate.

Poor people are bonsai people. There is nothing wrong with their seeds. Only society never gave them a base to grow on.”
― Muhammad Yunus, Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus founded the Grameen Bank and pioneered the concepts of microcredit and microfinance to fight poverty.  Yunus realized that people were not poor because they were stupid or lazy.  They worked long, hard hours, performing complex, physical tasks.  Their growth was stunted, because their financial institutions did not help them widen their economic base.

The poor had no control over capital.  Grameen reversed conventional banking practice by removing the need for collateral and created a banking system based on accountability , mutual trust, creativity and participation.  In his book, Banker to the Poor: Microlending and the Battle Against World Poverty, Yunus wrote,“…it is the ability to control capital that gives people the power to rise out of poverty.”

Eradicating poverty provides a path toward peace.

Bonsai is the ancient Asian art of cultivating trees in trays.  The shallow confines of a small pot prevent the tree’s roots from spreading.  Pruning techniques help bonsai mimic the shape and scale of naturally full size trees.

Enjoy a peaceful weekend!

Best regards,


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