(From Real Clear Investigations)
Ever since President Eisenhower approved its creation in 1953, the Small Business Administration has stood in the popular imagination as a lender to mom-and-pop stores and scrappy entrepreneurs chasing the American dream.
In fact, the agency is increasingly providing billions to Wall Street firms that reap big returns on loans and other investments while taxpayers shoulder the risk of bad bets, records show.
Since 2007, the SBA has guaranteed $14 billion in financing to boutique investment firms. And over the past year, it has pushed its Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program closer to its permitted $4 billion ceiling each year, according to government officials and records tracked by OpenTheBooks, a nonprofit that collects public-spending data.