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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Big Banks Target the Bill of Rights

The American people lent $45 billion to Bank of America during the bailout. That bailout came with a hefty $100 billion guarantee against losses on toxic assets.

That money came from American taxpayers. It came from gun owners and non-gun owners.

But Bank of America has warned that it will refuse to lend money to manufacturers of “assault-style guns”. It had previously announced it was edging away from the coal business to fight global warming.

Citigroup got $476 billion in cash and guarantees: the most of any bank. Now Citibank is repaying the generosity of the American people by requiring its clients to impose their own gun control policies on their stores. Impose gun control on your customers or Citibank will discriminate against you.

Next up is Wells Fargo. The stagecoach brand has said that it’s up to the government to impose gun control, but that it is discussing gun safety with its clients. That’s not enough for outraged activists. The American Federation of Teachers, an organization that runs on extorting money from teachers and taxpayers, warned Wells Fargo that it had to choose between firearms manufacturers and the AFT.

Bank of America announced its move to Bloomberg. The eponymous media outlet is associated with the billionaire sugar daddy of the anti-second amendment lobby. That wasn’t a coincidence. Neither was Citigroup making its announcement through Ed Skyler, Bloomberg’s former Deputy Mayor.

This phase of the pressure campaign got its start from a New York Times column by Andrew Ross Sorkin which wondered, "What if the finance industry — credit card companies ... credit card processors ... and banks ... were to effectively set new rules for the sales of guns in America?"

If the banks wouldn’t play ball, then their biggest customers, "McDonald’s, Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, AT&T, CVS and others" would be pressured into pressuring them. That way a few corporations could decide which parts of the Constitution they’ll write out of existence in their Terms of Service.

And then Sorkin began calling up chief execs to discuss his bright idea for corporate government. They included Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat who had served on Obama's Advisory Council on Financial Capability and had hosted a retreat featuring Hillary Clinton. Citigroup had a long relationship with the Clintons and had warned that Trump’s victory could lead to an economic “slowdown”.

A follow-up article suggested modifying merchant control codes to single out any store that sells firearms and using GPS signals to shut off credit card transactions around gun shows.

The extensive surveillance powers of financial companies would be used to build a police state.

Ed Skyler’s Twitter account, which has plenty of gun control tweets, retweeted the police state proposal.

Citigroup's spokesman claimed that, "we created standards based not on ideology, but on established best sales practices." But Ed Skyler’s ranting announcement clearly shows that to be a lie.

"Over the same amount of time, we have waited for our grief to turn into action and see our nation adopt common-sense measures that would help prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands," Ed Skyler had declared in his role as CitiGroup's Executive Vice President of Global Public.

That’s an Everytown political campaign ad that could have come from his old boss, Michael Bloomberg.

Citigroup can’t have it both ways. It can’t beat the drum for gun control and declare that it’s non-ideological. You can virtue signal or be apolitical. But you can’t do both at the same time.

Senator Kennedy (R-LA) responded to Citigroup’s secondary second amendment boycott blasting it for “threatening law abiding business owners for exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

“The only reason that Citigroup is even in business today is because American taxpayers bailed them out during the Great Recession,” he noted. The Senator also expressed concern that the country’s financial institutions are being split up into “red banks and blue banks.” Mick Mulvaney, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, called the actions of the anti-second amendment banks, "troubling."

The left has come a long way from hating corporations to setting up a corporate shadow government to dismantle the Bill of Rights. Get the banks to ban guns and social media companies to censor conservatives. And the left can divest from democracy and run the country from Facebook.

But behind the big banks is an even bigger government.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago's biggest thug since Capone, is backing an ordinance that would ban banks from doing business with his corrupt city if they don't implement the same gun control boycott as Citigroup. According to its euphemistic Safe Guns Policy, “No financial institution would be eligible to do business as a City depository, underwrite municipal bond issues, or engage in a myriad of other financial transactions unless they file such an affidavit.” Capone could have said it briefer, but not better.

And Chicago’s gimmick would allow the failed city to impose gun control through the banks.

Chicago has been sliding toward bankruptcy almost as fast as its home state. But Chiraq put out $3 billion in AAA bonds, even though its bonds have been considered junk, through what one analyst called “smoke and mirrors”. But you can’t peddle Chicago junk bonds unless you also peddle gun control.

Not to be left too far behind Second City, New York State Comptroller Thomas J. DiNapoli sent letters to MasterCard among others, urging them to block credit card purchases of firearms and accessories.

New York is facing its biggest deficits in decades, and it has the second-highest debt in the nation. Behind California. But shrinking the Bill of Rights is more important than the financial health of the state.

Banking on gun control isn’t a new development. Under Obama, a covert version of it operated through an Obama DOJ program known as “Operation Choke Point.” Choke Point pressured banks into avoiding relationships with firearms businesses. The program was shut down by Attorney General Sessions.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd called it a "misguided initiative conducted during the previous administration.”

But Operation Choke Point is being laboriously reassembled by a coalition of activist groups, state officials and corporations. Its rebirth in the private sector follows in the footsteps of similar efforts at building a shadow government that would maintain the initiatives and rules of the Obama era.

Choke Point 2.0 is just a decentralized version of an unconstitutional government program. The banks enforcing it are dusting off the same old “reputational implications” argument from Choke Point.

After losing the White House, the Senate and the House, the left is rebuilding its regulatory infrastructure using some of the same financial institutions that were funded by the bailout. The advantages of this move are that monopolistic institutions don’t need to worry about accountability to the public or the Constitution’s restrictions on violating rights by abusing government power.

It’s no coincidence that Bank of America horror stories abounded during the Choke Point era. The financial institutions most likely to collaborate with Obama against their customers and the Bill of Rights are also the most likely to collaborate in the same way with the anti-second amendment lobby.

Choke Point 2.0 is an ominous development. But it is also an important reminder.

The left is not against big banks. It is against freedom.

Every institution exists only as a means for the left to exercise its power, to impose collective systems and tear down individual rights. It is only opposes businesses to the extent that they represent individual initiative and personal freedom. But it will rule the country and enforce its will on us by any means.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

As usual Daniel, a brilliant amalgamation and assessment of the facts. Blanket decree's and workarounds as they pertain to constitutional freedoms are telltale symptoms of what will become a very uncivil war.

Dennis Latham said...

How scary is this? Most people who own guns already have them, and if the credit cards companies want to take the loss, screw them. People can buy guns with cash. The bad guys don't buy their guns in stores with credit cards. So this is just an attack from the Left on law abiding citizens. The Left needs to be crushed.

Anonymous said...

Costco only accepts Visa cards and suggest I apply for the Citibank Visa, which I did. And they give a small percent of cash back each year. But as soon as I learned that Citibank is against the 2nd Amendment, I cut up my card. If I go to Costco, I'll pay cash or write a check, I won't use a card from a bank like Citi !! And I quit Wells Fargo YEARS ago. My bank is a small LOCAL bank.

Dorrie

Mr. Bee said...

Anyone paying attention during the Obama administration would realize that the crony capitalists are now part and parcel with the fascist left in America. They can make more profit off of government handouts than they can in the uncertain world of actual business. Which is why Republicans and the right had better begin anti-trust operations now to break up the "too big to fail" corporations down to size and increase corporate diversity.

Anonymous said...

The upsurge in gun purchases since '08 onward suggests that there are *many* people who want guns but do not yet have them.

If you read the reporting on the decisions of these financial institutions to end "credit card" purchases, what you will find in reality is that these institutions are taking the position that they will not do *business* with firearms companies (manufacturers, retailers, etc). This would include financing, credit card processing, banking, etc.

Firearms related businesses thus will shortly find themselves in the same situation as legal marijuana dispensaries. In other words, with tons of cash on hand and nowhere to BANK.

The seriousness of this situation is difficult to overstate. Time is indeed of the essence, people.

MikeN said...

The former Soviet Union leaders used to brag that their constitution was more democratic and provided more recourse to it's people than ours, which as written it was.The problem was that it was never enforced by the Proletariat.
It was a hollow worthless document. Our constitution is a legal document which provides for legal use of force to ensure that the limitations of government are adhered to.

George Adair said...

Dennis that is partially correct. But, if you can only purcahse firearms and or ammunition using cash then that means only point of sale contacts. No shipping from anywhere also if you are a member of a shooting club or the NRA you have to deliver the cash on site. Where do these organizations put all this cash if not in the very banks that have decided to shun them. If they can't function and spread the cash to suppliers then those suppliers can't operate. Eventually and very quickly the whole industry grinds to a halt and collapses. Cash is only good if you can spend it and distribute it.

Gpadwds said...

First National Bank Omaha discontinued issuing the NRA branded credit card. I wrote a letter to the bank and the reply I received was a copy of their press release and was signed by a person that a bank employee in the know said "is not someone I have ever heard of. I don't know that person at all." The name was "Martha Jankoski" and she allegedly works in the "Office of the President," Clarkson Lauritzen.

Anonymous said...

Great article! Thank you for spelling this out so clearly.

Our Leftist American brand of fascism is blended seamlessly into the banking cartels/corporatocracy, virtue signaling to the Perpetually Offended.

By my rough count we are at 50:50 in socialism:individual freedom. I also believe, as seen by the Left's unremitting attempts to unseat/thwart a legally-elected president, that we have passed the point of no return vis-a-vis a non-violent compromise on issues.

Balkanization is the only way to avoid a civil war. The Left will fire the first shot. They push and push and push.

When the pushback comes it will not be subtle.

Anonymous said...

Here in NC, I cut Wells Fargo a bit of slack.

I open carry into to my local Wells Fargo branch several times each week with no comment or concern from the staff or management.

At the moment they seem tolerant.

Hans
...in the NC woods

Anonymous said...

Yet another tentacle has appeared in the form of a company called Fiserv. Amongst other things, Fiserv acts as a electronic banking processor for a number of banks. When trying to change banks, I discovered the following verbiage in Fiserv's Terms and Conditions: "...21. Prohibited Payments...ammunition, firearms, or firearm parts or related accessories; (6) weapons or knives regulated under applicable law..."
The lesson is that many of these anti-2A backdoor attacks are not made public, but exist and serve to further tighten the vise on our liberty.
Read your terms and conditions.

Anonymous said...

Remember, these credit card and bank mafias need us. Its as easy as cancelling credit cards and telling them why. It is even more sporty to charge a gun or two, then cancel the card, and then at a later date, throw their bill in the trash and default on the cards.

Pat Owen said...

The obvious answer to me is to hold the virtue signalers to their own standard. They cannot be allowed to claim moral high ground without a challenge. If making and selling weapons is evil, then making and selling weapons is evil no matter to whom they are sold. We should encourage these tactics by the banks as long as they are consistent across the board. To clarify, you won't deal with Ruger, fine, then you shouldn't deal with Lockheed-Martin either. I would love to see the shrivel in the Citibank boardroom at the prospect of having to refuse the business of the entire defense industry or admit that they're just hypocrites and empty virtue-signalers.

MikeN said...

Nothing was done about "Too Big to Fail" and "Moral Hazard." Seems to me something could be done about this under Interstate Commerce, which is another act used for dubious reasons. So be it.

Dennis Latham said...

George, I can see what you are talking about.I don't have a clue what the answer is in the long term other than a Civil War erupting. I don't even want to know what that would involve. The Left somehow thinks that the government will side with them. That they are going to bomb everyone on the right with drones, and the world will be a free money and welfare Utopia. They are of course just nuts.

Sean said...

Saw this one coming a mile away. Wait for when the shippers and deliverers of firearms refuse to do their jobs regarding firearms delivery. Going to happen. When the manufacturers can't even get the guns made, because of the banks, and there's no way to ship them, you know it's the end. The leftists always over reach, and this kind of stuff is childs play for them.

Anonymous said...

Banks once represented free enterprise. I don't think they do any longer. Banking has been based on perpetual growth. Bankers have realised for some time that in a finite world that model can't continue forever. I believe elites want depopulation, ostensibly to "save the planet." They want a single world currency, with local governments being reduced to enforcers of their policies. The British virtually lost almost all their sovereignty under the European Union. That was the intention of the globalists in collusion with corporate bankers who run the EU covertly. Russia and China stand in the way of a single world currency. More power equals more tyranny and corruption. The Book of Revelation talks of the horrors of not being able to buy or sell without the "Mark of the Beast." I think the attached video should be seen by everyone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AC6RSau7r8

Anonymous said...

After "too big to fail" I can't believe that the US hasn't broken up the near monopoly of big banks just as they did to AT & T and Standard Oil. The difference is that the banks would actually deserve it as a consequence of maleficent actions which could only be undertaken by a bank of considerable size.

--Seneca

Anonymous said...

When BOA has to lay off people, will their spokesman say its because they are turning business away? PS. Why doesn't the NRA start their bank? They seem to have a large enough customer bank. Business is nothing more providing a business or a service where is none.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like restraint of trade and a sueable offense.
Kinda like Operation Chokepoint on the "private" level.

lhf said...

Beginning of a Chinese style social credit system.

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