The news is out: [Some publicly traded companies that received taxpayer-backed small business loans to pay their employees during the early weeks of the pandemic paid out millions to Wall Street investors in dividends and share buybacks, publicly available financial disclosures reviewed by The Washington Post show.
The findings reinforce long-standing concerns that the Paycheck Protection Program, an emergency stimulus fund offering low-interest, forgivable loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, was accessed by financially healthy companies that could have gone without a bailout.
Under the Small Business Administration rules, a PPP loan could be used only to meet payroll and pay mortgage interest, leases or utility bills. PPP loan recipients weren’t prohibited from paying investors with other funds, as long as the PPP funds were kept separate.
Still, some advocacy groups believe companies that had enough cash on hand to pay millions in dividends and stock purchases were unlikely to qualify for the PPP program, which was designed to assist troubled companies in keeping employees on the payroll during weeks when they were unable to do business because of pandemic-related lockdowns.]
Like I predicted, the American taxpayer has been raped again, by the usual suspects.