Hasina 1, Yunus 0, Grameen retired hurt
Dhaka’s politicians have won this round. Muhammad Yunus has been forced to quit the institution he founded. Yunus and the Bank will appeal to the Supreme Court in Bangladesh, according to David Roodman at CGDev.
Just as the Board and the Bangladesh Bank (the central bank) have been adversaries in court, they could fight over the choice of successor. Each side has a veto. Nine of the 12 board members are still elected Grameen members. However they are chosen and however independent they are from Yunus (or not) they can expected to remain allies of the old guard.
Perhaps that will play in favor of Dipal Barua, Roodman has said. He is the deputy managing director who was let go last year. He is both a longtime insider, born in the village where it all started and working with Yunus since the beginning, and now a dissident outsider. If the government moved quickly to nominate someone like him, that would be very reassuring about its long-term intentions with regard to preserving the Bank.
An alternative scenario is a protracted struggle over succession. Uncertainty can be deadly for a financial institution. There has been plenty of reporting on the struggle. There is the New Age’s close, factual reporting;David Bergman, of New Age, in Himal has written about Hasina vs Yunus (Roodman has reminded us that Bergman’s father-in-law is one of Yunus’s lawyers. The New York Times reported ‘ Microcredit Pioneer Ousted, Head of Bangladeshi Bank Says‘ and the Economist reported ‘You’re Fired, No I’m Not’. The Financial Times carried an editorial Dhaka’s spiteful attack on Yunus while Asif Nazrul in the Daily Star commented ‘When the target is Prof Yunus‘. Philanthrocapitalism said ‘ Leave Yunus Alone’ and NextBillion carried a personal statement from Yunus. Finally here is the Statement by Grameen Bank.