Small Firms Targeted by Stimulus Scammers

  Government and Economy Small Business Stimulus Loan Scams The SBA doesn't give stimulus package loans directly to small businesses, but that hasn't stopped scammers from trying to make you believe otherwise. Auto Suppliers to Receive $5 billion Bailout The Treasury Department is trying to stabilize the auto industry by providing as much as $5 billion in financing to troubled auto parts suppliers linked to Detroit's car makers. [Read Full Article]

Is the AIG Bonus Tax Going Too Far?

OK, everybody hates AIG. We get that. One of their business groups played a huge part in the financial crisis that is currently burning its way through the American economy and culture. We get that, too. The executives doing this signed contracts with the company that gave them bonuses for reaching certain figures. They did what they needed to do for those bonuses to kick in and the company was obligated to pay. Take away the outrage, look at it objectively, and that is what it all boils down to. These executives did what they were contractually obligated to do and, in return, so did AIG. The AIG Bailout Morass We could go on to discuss the fact that it was Congress and past administrations that made it possible for AIG to do what it did. We can talk about the bonuses paid to the executives and Fannie and Freddie (where is Barney Frank’s outrage over them?) and we can talk about Chris Dodd trying to slip in legislation that would have allowed the executives to kee... [Read Full Article]

Small Business Brief for 11/26

Politics and Government Obama Adds Econ Advisers, Says 'Help is on The Way'CHICAGO (AP) - President-elect Barack Obama pledged on Wednesday to have an economic plan ready for action to deal with the nation's financial crisis on his first day in office. "Help is on the way," he declared. Obama to Name Volcker Head of New Economic PanelThe president-elect will announce a new economic advisory committee, which will be steered by the former Federal Reserve chairman. US Details $800 Billion Loan PlansThe Fed and the Treasury are willing to print as much money as needed to... [Read Full Article]

Fraud Hits the SBA

Much like the Community Redevelopment Act (CRA) for housing, the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program was designed to encourage economic development in historically underutilized business zones and, like the CRA, it looked remarkably good on paper. The problem happened when it was put into practice. The story on describes that problem like this: According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report dated July 17, 2008, 10 of the 17 firms the GAO investigated in the Washington, DC, metro area weren't eligible for HUBZone certification but had been awarded obligations from federal agencies amounting to more than $105 million since 2006. As part of its investigation, the GAO created four fictitious firms. Using fabricated leases and other documentation, agents skated around the HUBZone requirements—in some cases, using a Starbucks address or le... [Read Full Article]

Wrapping-up the Current Economic Crisis

While some in the mainstream media are blithely writing the obituary for free market capitalism, something odd is happening: The free market is actually working, not in the way anyone wanted, but it is working; and that is in spite of the best efforts of Bush, Paulson, Bernanke, Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Frank and all of the other dubious bit players and functionaries that have been spouting off about the need to do something about the crisis. That is the thing about the free market. It is like gravity. It is always on. There is another odd thing happening as well: With the exception of the greedy Wall Street CEOs that everyone involved in the scandal as well as those covering it can agree are evil, no one really wants to identify anyone else responsible for this mess to task. Instead, we hear a great deal about fixing the problem and moving on. Move on...hmmm...that sounds awfully familiar.... Welcome to the Recession After the $700 billion Wall Street bailout was ra... [Read Full Article]