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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. Treasury Department is pointing the finger at lenders for errors discovered in Monday's PPP data disclosure.

What they're saying: "Companies listed had their PPP applications entered into SBA’s Electronic Transmission (ETran) system by an approved PPP lender. If a lender did not cancel the loan in the ETran system, the loan is listed," a senior administration official said.

This explanation makes the most sense for phantom loans like the one listed for e-scooter company Bird, given that the SBA shouldn't otherwise have its financial information.

What we still don't know, however, is how many errors were made. I'm now hearing more talk of audits, although it remains unclear exactly what form they would take.

There also was a ton of reporting yesterday about PPP loans received by companies with ties to people like Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden.

  • Such disclosure carries not just the intrinsic value of transparency for taxpayers, and also serve as receipts if politicians later criticize PPP or claim to have not really supported it.
  • But, but, but: There isn't anything wrong with any of these connections, so long as the loan recipient was truthful in the application. PPP was primarily designed to keep people on payroll, whether a small-town bartender or a front-desk worker at a Trump-branded hotel. It was an intentionally blunt instrument that didn't discriminate by the wealth or connections of someone's employer.

What's next: Soon we could get a better picture about how many payrolls were actually protected, as loan forgiveness applications are submitted and processed.

  • Treasury provided an estimate of 51 million jobs, but that's already coming under scrutiny (and not just because of phantom loans).

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 6, 2020 - Economy & Business

July's jobs report could be an inflection point for the coronavirus recovery

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Even if Friday's jobs report shows a big number, it is becoming clear hiring slowed and likely even reversed course in July and real-time indicators suggest the employment situation worsened into August.

Driving the news: Payroll processor ADP's monthly jobs report showed private companies added 167,000 jobs last month, well below the 1.2 million expected by economists and far below June's 4.8 million jobs added.

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Officer Kim Potter arrested, charged with manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Photo: Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Kim Potter, the former police officer charged with second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, was released on a $100,000 bond on Wednesday, Hennepin County jail records show.

Why it matters: Sunday's shooting of the 20-year-old Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, just 10 miles from where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year, has reinvigorated Black Lives Matter protests and led to three consecutive nights of unrest.

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden names Erika Moritsugu as senior AAPI liaison

Erika Moritsugu. Photo courtesy: National Partnership for Women & Families

President Biden has named Erika Moritsugu as deputy assistant to the president and Asian American and Pacific Islander senior liaison, the White House announced Wednesday.

Driving the news: The decision follows weeks of pressure from AAPI leaders to include more Asian American representation at the Cabinet level and in senior administration roles.