PPP Loan Gossip

From Matt Levine, writing in Money Stuff:

I have engaged in this sort of gossip before, but for the most part I am pretty chill about “inappropriate” businesses getting PPP money. The idea of the PPP is that if a smallish business lost revenue, the government would give it a cheap loan, and if it kept people on its payroll then it wouldn’t have to pay back the loan. The goal of the PPP was not to reward the virtuous and punish the insolent; it was to keep people employed so the economy wouldn’t collapse while everyone stays home. It was in various ways inadequate to that task, since the unemployment rate hit 14.7% in April and is 11.1% now. Presumably some hedge funds got PPP loans and used the money to keep people on the payroll, and unemployment would be even higher if they hadn’t. Presumably if more hedge funds had taken out PPP loans and used the money to keep people on the payroll, unemployment would be lower and the economy would be in better shape. Reasonable people could disagree, but it does not seem to me that the biggest problem in the U.S. economy right now is that too many businesses got government money to preserve employment. So it seems a bit silly to criticize the ones who did.

On the other hand it is endlessly, gloriously funny that “the Ayn Rand Institute received a PPP loan of between $350K and $1 million.” You can read their reasoning here.

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