Treasury blames lenders for errors in PPP loan database

US Treasury Department blames lenders for their mistakes discovered in Monday’s PPP data disclosure.

What they say: “Listed businesses have entered their PPP requests into the SBA’s Electronic Transmission System (ETran) through an approved PPP lender. If a lender does not cancel the loan in the ETran system, the loan is listed,” said a senior administration official.

This explanation is the most logical for phantom loans like the one listed for electric scooter company Bird, since the SBA should not otherwise have its financial information.

What we still don’t know, however, is the number of mistakes made. I hear more and more about audits, although it is not known exactly what form they would take.

There was also a ton of reporting yesterday on PPP loans received by companies with ties to people like Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden.

  • Such disclosure not only has the intrinsic value of transparency for taxpayers, and also serve as receipts if politicians later criticize the PPP or claim not to have really supported him.
  • But, but, but: There is nothing wrong with any of these connections, as long as the loan recipient has been truthful in the request. PPP was primarily designed to keep people on the payroll, whether it’s a bartender in a small town or a front desk clerk at a Trump-branded hotel. It was an intentionally blunt instrument that did not discriminate on the basis of wealth or someone’s employer’s connections.

And after: Soon we might have a better idea of ​​how many payrolls are actually protected, as loan cancellation requests are submitted and processed.

  • The Treasury provided an estimate of 51 million jobs, but it’s already undergoes careful scrutiny (and not just because of the phantom loans).

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