The new credit union boom

| Business |

Customers disillusioned with traditional banking in the wake of the credit crunch are turning to credit unions in search of a safer, more ethical place to save and borrow, it has emerged. Some big banks took too many risks, lending aggressively during the boom years. Their actions may yet provoke a UK recession and credit … Continued

Fair trade a fair shake for farmers

| Agriculture, Business |

The fair trade certified coffee market is not only fairer to farmers than the conventional coffee market, it is a uniquely remarkable way to stimulate economic growth in some of the poorest communities on the Earth. My perspective is in direct contrast to an opinion column by Gene Callahan that appeared on this page Aug. … Continued

Cuba to let farmers buy equipment on credit

| Agriculture, Government |

HAVANA — Communist Cuba has begun offering private farmers equipment and other resources on credit along with more land, as President Raul Castro seeks to reform agriculture by loosening the state’s grip. Just days after a government decree authorizing land grants to farmers, they are being called to meetings and asked what machinery and other … Continued