Mohammad Yunus has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He's notable for starting the Grameen Bank, which was notable for designing a system that allowed poor people to borrow small amounts of money and pull themselves out of poverty. The concept of microcredit has boomed and helped an enormous number of people.
It's an interesting idea and I've followed it for a long time. Basically it's pure capitalism, except that Yunus designed a different model for lending. They charge commercial interest rates and pay investors competitive rates, so it's not a charity, but the effect is to put power into their borrowers' hands.
One of the key enablers for Grameen's success is that most of the loans go to women. Women seem to be more responsible with money, and the loan default rate the Bank gets would be the envy of many a western bank.
So congratulations to Yunus and the Grameen Bank. Yunus' acceptable speech is here.
I guess I can now say I've met a Nobel Peace Prize winner. W00t!