Jeopardy’s Bob Harris Writes About Microlending

For many fans of Jeopardy, the name Bob Harris is synonymous with knowing things. Because he’s a thirteen-time champion of the game show and general outspokenness, many respect his opinions. Thus, his new book is making waves in the literary community and may initiate some important dialogue about how to deal with international poverty.

It all began when Harris, a writer and radio commentator by trade, was given the opportunity by to review some of the world’s finest luxury hotels. However, instead of simply pocketing the earnings, Harris decided to lend the money via while continuing to travel around the world to take a look at all the lives that the money had affected. His experiences were compiled into a book titled The International Book of Bob. The book, in addition to shining a light on microlending, shows the juxtaposition of the world’s wealthiest and poorest people. Harris writes of ATM machines that emit gold ingots and Asian construction workers who live like indentured servants in Dubai for the chance to send money back to their families.

In an interview, Harris explains the fundamentals of microlending:

“Microlending was pioneered more than 30 years ago by, among others, Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Charity certainly has its place in poverty alleviation, obviously — when there’s been a disaster, or when there’s epic need — but in many places, the people have small enterprises, and they know what they can do to solve their own problems. They’re in the middle of their businesses and they simply need a small loan.

But if you’re a fisherman, and you simply need to patch a hole in your rowboat, you can’t go to Citibank for a bridge loan in Cambodia. So who do you go to? Prior to microlending, your alternative would be maybe leaning on your family or villagers, or going to black-market money lenders, and paying an exorbitant interest rate. When you go to, the vast majority of donors are finding people on the website to whom they can put $25 toward a loan; that money goes overseas to a local lender and the recipients pay the loan back, then you get paid back.”

Speaking once again about, Harris says “Now there’s this place on the Internet — where total strangers go, to be nice with other total strangers so they can all collectively be generous to yet more total strangers whom they will never meet — and somehow my name is in the middle of that. That’s magical.”

– Samantha Mauney

Source: Huffington Post
Photo: Telegraph

Hillary Clinton's Book on Foreign Policy Coming in 2014
If Hillary Clinton’s not traveling the wold as Secretary of State, or running for president, or looking over legislation as a member of Congress, or raising a family, then she is writing a new book. According to Simon & Schuster, Hillary Clinton has a book on American foreign policy coming out in 2014. Simon & Schuster president and CEO, Carolyn Reidy, said that “Hillary Clinton has redefined the meaning of ‘trailblazer’ in every phase of her career on the world stage, as First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, and notably, as an author.”

In framing her thoughts on foreign policy, Clinton will be pulling from her personal experiences, especially as Secretary of State. This position provided Clinton with many first-hand, and occasionally dramatic, experiences that give her a unique perspective of American foreign policy laws and legislation and how they directly affect other countries and the United States’ relationship with these other countries.

The news release from Simon & Schuster provides greater detail on the nature of Clinton’s book, which will also include her thoughts on American leadership in the future world, the important role of girls and women to the global and developing economies, as well as her opinions on the killing of Osama bin Laden and the Libyan conflict. Her thoughts on the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime in Libya will be insightful in the face of the many critiques from the Republican party.

The book, which has yet to be named, is expected to be published in June of 2014. It could be an indicator of whether or not Hillary Clinton will be running for president in 2016 as it highlights her credentials and states her opinions and thoughts on how to handle foreign policy and the future direction of the United States.

– Angela Hooks

Source: NY Times
Photo: CNN