Remember from a couple of months ago all the posts I did about how a few major American banking firms were trying to come up with their own extrajudicial gun control measures by denying investment or banking services to gun companies or retailers?
At the time I said that there would be a backlash.
Louisiana has started it.
Louisiana is using the bond market to stick up for the Second Amendment.
The state’s bond commission voted 7 to 6 Thursday to ban Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. from working on its upcoming debt sale because of the banks’ “restrictive gun policies,” the state treasury said in a statement. Bank of America and Citigroup are the two top-ranked underwriters of long-term municipal debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“I personally believe the policies of these banks are an infringement on the rights of Louisiana citizens,” Treasurer John Schroder said in a statement. “As a veteran and former member of law enforcement, I take the Second Amendment very seriously.”
Louisiana is the third poorest state in the Union, but it’s a start. Imagine what would happen if Texas decided to do this (it should).
The amazing thing is not the Louisiana act, but the ego of Citi.
“Citi adopted this policy because we believe it is a positive and balanced step to promote gun safety without undermining free markets or Second Amendment rights,” spokesman Scott Helfman said in an emailed statement. “It is disappointing that the taxpayers of Louisiana will be deprived from competitive bidding for necessary public works because the process has been politicized.”
“How dare your question the good intentions of your New York City banking overlords!” Citi has the right to impose its policy on customers but potential customers have no right to tell the bank to “fuck off” because of it’s policy. That’s a bold statement.
State reps took Citi to task over it though.
Other state officials took Bank of America and Citigroup to task on Thursday over the gun policies, delivering a simple message: Stick to banking.
“Do you realize how important the second amendment is to the people of Louisiana?” Blake Miguez, a Republican member of Louisiana’s House of Representatives, asked Citigroup’s Brandee McHale, the company’s head of corporate citizenship.
Stick to banking. Right on.
After the big bailouts I think that Big Bank came to believe it was invincible. Louisiana just forced the banks to check that attitude.
I’m all for this. The state governments of the other 29 Trump voting red states should grow a pair and push similar bills. The Republicans in the House and Senate should too.
If a bank’s policies are used to restrict any constitutionally guaranteed right – say a bank won’t lend to a publisher that promotes pro-life views or a business that holds to religious values like Chic-fil-a – that bank won’t get Federal contracts.
Forget too big to fail. We’ll make them fail.