I read with interest your article on Imre Corp. ("Let Them Make Mudpies," July). While I am not in a position to discuss the merits of the case, there are serious doubts in my mind that you had enough factual data to have delivered such a blistering attack on the Small Business Administration. In all probability, the writer heard only one side of the story. We in the SBA are not prone to argue the merits of a case in the media. To do so would show a lack of integrity.
The major problem in this case seems to be the endless delays and numerous reconsiderations and reprocessing of the Imre loan. I would be surprised if that fault lies with the SBA. This whole scenario smacks of intense "political" pressure. I would bet money, marbles, or chalk that at least one or more congressional sources were deeply involved in getting the loan file reopened time and again. If I am correct, then in all fairness, why place blame on the SBA? We were only being responsive. And, most importantly, we were consistent. You, of all people, should be happy that the SBA is not being promiscuous and "caving in" on high-risk loans because of persistence and pressures.
Your editorial in the same issue (FYI) is indeed meaningful and accurately stated. Loan officers, whether in banks or the SBA, do lack expertise in many areas. Flow can we all be knowledgeable in high technology, oil production, computer programs, and raising cattle and hogs? Yet we lenders must deal in these areas on a daily basis. I agree it "ain't" right.
In closing, I want to compliment Curtis Hartman on the fine job he did on the Pente success story ("Playing by the Rules"), also in the July issue. What a shame he didn't mention that the SBA has been, and still is, involved in the financing of that fine company, even when it was considered venture lending.