Servicios financieros y mercados

Putting Your Money Where Your Heart Is

How does your bank use your money after you deposit it? Most of us have no idea. But at one Vermont bank, customers know it goes to worthy projects right in their own backyard that make the local economy stronger.

At Chittenden Bank, the largest bank in the state, anyone can choose to put their deposits into a multi-million dollar Socially Responsible Banking (SRB) fund that invests in community projects in education, affordable housing, and sustainable agriculture.

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Taking Out a Loan to Give Back a Future

In these topsy-turvy economic times, there's great hope in the fact that one of the world's most famous banks is one that caters to the poorest of individuals and that its founder makes regular appearances in the financial news media. The Grameen Bank in Dhaka, Bangladesh, started by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, is a bank of the future.

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When the Money Isn't Flowing: Invent Your Own Currency

How would you like to be able to move house -- packing, transportation, cleaning, moving materials removal, and gardening included -- without spending a dollar? If you lived in New South Wales, Australia, you could use shells, issued in points, to pay for everything but the gardening, which you would pay for with time.

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Trading in Tomatoes and Trust

In the Mendoza province of Argentina, a small community of entrepreneurs is preparing for the tomato harvest. With the help of 'solidarity investors,' they're purchasing seeds, irrigating and cultivating their land, and eventually making jars of fresh tomato sauce that just might make their way to your dinner table.

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Microfinance: An Island of Stability in the Global Economic Storm

The global financial crisis is opening eyes to creative ways to bank with the world's poorest borrowers, a move that could actually help struggling financial institutions generate more profit in difficult times.

While traditional investment markets freeze up or melt away, microfinance institutions (MFIs) that make small loans to poor people are now being appreciated as - ironically - a relatively safe investment in a potentially huge and largely untapped market. 

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