JPMorgan joins the pack

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No, this has nothing to do with the subprime mortgage debacle. The global financial services firm decided to follow in the steps of other giants such as Morgan Stanley, HSBC and Deutsche Bank and to enter the micro-finance field.

The new division called Social Sector Finance hopes to achieve "a double bottom line of social benefit and financial returns," says Christina Leijonhufvud, who's leading the unit.

According to Microfinance Information Exchange the end of 2006 marked over $23 billion in micro-loans outstanding to more than more than 52 million people.

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