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The Small Business Lending Fund's Tepid Results

Auburn Avenue in Atlanta where many local businesses have failed.
Auburn Avenue in Atlanta where many local businesses have failed.Photograph by David Goldman/Ap Photo

Nearly three years ago, in his State of the Union address, President Obama announced a plan to use $30 billion in money repaid by Wall Street’s bailed-out banks to help community lenders make loans to Main Street companies.

The plan, part of the Small Business Jobs Act, passed along party lines in the Democratic Congress that summer. At the time, the lobby for community banks breathlessly suggested that banks could leverage the capital to make as much as $300 billion in new loans to small businesses.