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McClatchy: The Big O's TARP program is a steaming pile of crap if you're a small business

I'm shocked. McClatchy:

The Troubled Asset Relief Program poured hundreds of billions of dollars into big banks to help spur business lending [S-u-u-u-r-e that was the intent] during the recession, but the cash infusion hasn't prevented thousands of companies from closing their doors as banks have tightened their credit standards and purse strings.

As we noted at the time, the banks didn't loan out our taxpayer money at all. They either stuffed it in the mattress, or used it to make themselves even too bigger to fail by buying other banks. TARP was a steaming load of bankster giveaway then, and it's the same steaming load now.

From June 2008 to June 2009, however, the "credit crunch" was in full effect, as small business loan balances fell 9 percent at banks that have more than $100 billion in assets. Overall lending, by comparison, fell by only 4 percent over the same period, according to a recent report by the Congressional Oversight Panel.

In the second quarter of this year, small business loans fell to less than $670 billion from more than $710 billion in the second quarter of 2008, according to federal data.

That's bad news not only for business owners such as the Calhouns, but also for the economy. Small businesses — generally described as those that have 500 or fewer employees — account for half the nation's private-sector employers and have created a majority of the new jobs since the mid-1990s.

If the economic recovery is going to take off, most agree that small business hiring will provide the lift. Without credit for small businesses, however, that recovery appears grounded indefinitely.

But the rich are happy now! So we're done.

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