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Wed Jul 15, 2020, 12:34 PM

Faulty data collection raises questions about Trump's claims on PPP program

Faulty data collection raises questions about Trump’s claims on PPP program

By Jonathan O'Connell, Emma Brown, Steven Rich and Aaron Gregg
July 14, 2020 at 2:37 p.m. EDT

A trove of data on $517 billion in emergency small-business loans contains numerous errors that cast doubt on the Trump administration’s jobs claims and obscure the real economic impact of the program, according to a Washington Post analysis and interviews with bankers and borrowers.

A Post analysis of data on 4.9 million loans released last week by the Small Business Administration shows that many companies are reported to have “retained” far more workers than they employ. Likewise, in some cases the agency’s jobs claim for entire industries surpasses the total number of workers in those sectors.

And for more than 875,000 borrowers, the data shows that zero jobs were supported or no information is listed at all, according to the analysis.

The flaws raise questions about the claims by the Trump administration that 51 million jobs were “supported” by the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which has been a rare bright spot for the administration at a time of a surging coronavirus pandemic and a suddenly stalling economic recovery. Many economists credit the program with helping staunch the deep wounds in the job market by offering forgivable loans to small businesses that rehire or keep workers on their payroll.


“Here we have a grant program that was designed to cast money around the country promiscuously,” said James Angel, associate professor of finance at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “Only time will tell how effective it has been.”

What about that 51 million number?

“I would take it with a grain of salt.”

Alyssa Fowers contributed to this report.

Jonathan O'Connell
Jonathan O'Connell is a reporter focused on economic development, corporate accountability and the Trump Organization. Follow https://twitter.com/OConnellPostBiz

Emma Brown
Emma Brown is a reporter on the investigative team who joined The Washington Post in 2009. Previously, she wrote obituaries and covered local and national education. Follow https://twitter.com/emmersbrown

Steven Rich
Steven Rich is the database editor for investigations at The Washington Post. While at The Post, he has worked on investigations involving the National Security Agency, police shootings, tax liens and civil forfeiture. He was a reporter on two teams to win Pulitzer Prizes, for public service in 2014 and national reporting in 2016. Follow https://twitter.com/dataeditor

Aaron Gregg
Aaron Gregg covers the defense industry and government contractors for the Washington Post's business section.Follow https://twitter.com/Post_AG

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Reply Faulty data collection raises questions about Trump's claims on PPP program (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jul 15 OP
lagomorph777 Jul 15 #1
chriscan64 Jul 15 #2

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Jul 15, 2020, 01:46 PM

1. "faulty data collection" is a nice euphemism for "active concealment of corruption"

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Jul 15, 2020, 04:24 PM

2. Yep.

And these are the folks who want to take over data collection for the CDC.

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