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Check your guns at the door: how to get together to establish a secondary market


  • Dolan, Catherine


Proceedings of the Conference on the Secondary Market for Community Development Loans Most organizational development professionals are familiar with Spencer Johnson’s book Who Moved My Cheese? Johnson’s tale is simple but insightful and reveals profound truths about change. The four characters in the story live in a maze and they need to look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. The characters are Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw. “Cheese” is a metaphor for what you want in life, and “maze” is where you look for what you want. In the story, the characters face unexpected change, and each deals with it differently. The interesting parallels that exist between the story and the current state of community development finance are telling. In the community development finance industry, the “cheese” is capital. The “maze” is where one looks for capital. Historically, most corridors in the community development maze have led to banks and foundations. That’s where the cheese was. Then one day the industry awoke to find that the cheese in these corridors was no longer plentiful and it didn’t taste quite as good as everyone remembered from the old days. While the traditional providers of capital, banks, and foundations will continue to be important sources for “cheese,” the industry must find a way to access a new source—the global capital markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Dolan, Catherine, 2006. "Check your guns at the door: how to get together to establish a secondary market," Community Development Investment Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue 2, pages 44-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfcr:y:2006:p:44-45:n:v.2no.2

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    Community development; Loans; Secondary markets;


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