Author: Daniel Rozas
Liquidity has been foremost on the minds of just about everyone in the financial inclusion sector. Several essays on this site have delved into the topic. The first article in our liquidity series outlined three drivers for illiquidity: deposit withdrawals, operating costs, and maturing debt, and argues that maturing debt presents the greatest risk. But what does the data say? Here we will dig into that, and investigate just how severe the different elements of the liquidity crunch are to different categories of MFI around the world. We don't have access to sector-wide data reflecting the situation right now. Nobody does. But we can get a good view of what may be happening from historical data collected by MIX Market over many years. Let's start with the most basic question. Assume an MFI is operating under complete shutdown, with no repayments, no new disbursements, and no other inflow or outflow of funds - it's operating entirely from cash reserves. How many months would it be able to survive before the money runs out?