Charles H. Green, Managing Director of the Small Business Finance Institute and regular contributor to the Coleman Report, has penned an open letter in response to comments from Jeff Sessions, Republican Senator from Alabama, that appeared in a Bloomberg BusinessWeek article yesterday. I happen to think Charles’s stance is right on the money and I’ve received his permission to feature his letter here as a guest blog (our first ever, I might add). After you read what he has to say and the article from Bloomberg BusinessWeek (here), I’d really like to know your thoughts. Leave a comment below or email me atChrisHurn@MercantileCC.com. Here’s the open letter:
Why are you investing the prestige of your office and the popular support from your home state to wage a war of misconstrued facts on the U.S. Small Business Administration?
Are you purposely trying to block access to capital to thousands of Alabama businesses (and beyond) by glibly misrepresenting the nature of the agency’s loan guaranty program and secondary market apparatus?
These programs are modeled as credit insurance, meaning that loan losses are entirely funded by premiums (called “loan guaranty fees”) paid by the loan recipients and an ongoing fee (actually a “tax”) levied on the participating bank. Taxpayers don’t contribute a dime toward loan losses.
To say otherwise places you in the unfortunate company with other anti-SBA crusaders like the CATO Institute, whose dislike for SBA leads them to purposely misstate reality.
You were recognized by the NFIB as a “Guardian of Small Business” in 2006. It’s curious that now you criticize the private-public partnership structure of SBA and the secondary market that provides liquidity to participating community banks, including dozens in Alabama.
Calling it a “moral hazard” in Bloomberg Businessweek is ironic. Maybe you have a problem with capitalism on Main Street?
You voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Reauthorization Act of 2012 for $140 billion, even though about 80 percent of the appropriation benefits Fortune 500 companies Boeing and General Electric.
You voted for ethanol subsidies in 2005, 2007 and 2013, which costs taxpayers over $7 billion annually and benefits other Fortune 500 companies like Archer Daniels Midland, Monsanto, Shell Oil and BP.
Yet now you grandstand over the paltry SBA, whose 2015 budget request actually went down to less than 3/4 of $1 billion, and whose tens of thousands of financial beneficiaries actually pay their own way.
Perhaps you just need a better coach to explain the SBA to you, Senator. As a native of Alabama, I’d be glad to do that. Call me when you’re ready.
Charles H. Green
Small Business Finance Institute
You can read the article that inspired this response here, and you’ll find more about Charles and the Small Business Finance Institute here. Also, thanks to Bob Coleman at Coleman Publishing for making sure I saw Charles’s letter today. Now, what do you think? Leave a comment or email me at ChrisHurn@MercantileCC.com.
Until next time,