The Seattle Times, July 22, 2020: Opinion | Racism in PPP loans is no surprise
In recent weeks, American banks have denounced systemic racism and pledged support to Black lives. Yet their practices during this pandemic and their role in distributing money from the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program show how systemic racism is embedded in their business model.
Last week, the Trump administration finally disclosed the names of many companies that received forgivable loans from the program, which is intended to keep small businesses afloat. Yet included among the recipients were big investment firms, big name law firms and companies connected to prominent political insiders.
Big banks were chosen to process the loans. But instead of assisting thousands of struggling small businesses, the banks directed the initial $349 billion into the pockets of primarily white-owned, well-connected businesses, which had prior relationships with the banks.