I was surprised and happy to see MicroPlace, eBay’s wholly-owned subsidiary for investing in microcredit, in ads plastered all over 1UP.com. Interesting demographic targeting, but I hope they have success with it.
Microcredit in general is a great idea, but by securitizing it, MicroPlace gives you a whole lot of leverage for your contribution. Your “donation” is not seeing your money for 18–36 months and getting 1.5-3% annual interest. (Though actually that rate is looking not that bad in today’s economy.) Therefore, one can afford to put more money into the system than if it were just a gift, which means the organizations have more to loan out.