Synopsis

While some of America's largest banks were teetering on the verge of failure in 2008, one chain of banks continues to grow and serve its communities by thinking small. Muhammad Yunus is a Nobel Prize-winning economist from Bangladesh who is the founder of the Grameen Bank, a financial institution specializing in "microcredit." The Grameen Bank makes small loans to female customers who want to start small businesses but lack collateral; through these loans, Grameen makes it possible for the poor to help themselves in a practical manner, and the bank has been rewarded with a repayment rate of 96 percent. Having helped millions of people in the Third World, Yunus has taken microcredit to the United States, opening a Grameen Bank branch in Queens, New York. Filmmaker Gayle Ferraro profiles Yunus as he explains his theories and helps the Queens branch of the Grameen Bank open for business in the documentary To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America; the film also follows two of the bank's first American customers as they obtain small loans, start small businesses, and help other loan recipients stay on their payment schedules. The film received its North American premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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