This is a headline I never thought would be seen. In fact, this is the first time the prize has been awarded to anyone for commercial activites. The part that commerce in general and banks in particular play in maintaining peace is often missed. That said, Professor Muhammad Yunus is not your normal banker – explicitly requiring that there be no recourse to the debtor on default, for example, would cause a normal Western banker to look at possible exit strategies.

There is little doubt that this innovative way of banking has proved very successful and is a useful model for many countries. To add to the current chorus: co