Social Lender Pursues Radical Experiment in Financial Transparency & Participation

On a rainy evening in March, sixteen people gathered in a tucked away conference room in Brooklyn. Before the evening was through, they would decide among themselves a key rate of interest that would affect borrowers and investors across the country.

But this was no illicit cartel. There wasn’t a cigar-chomping banker in sight. The group—which included a grad student, a farmer, an Etsy executive, a Waldorf school official and a chocolate maker—were there for the quarterly pricing meeting held by RSF Social Finance, a non-profit financial institution that makes loans to socially-minded enterprises through its Social Investment Fund.

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