Politicizing Finance

On Friday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about a recent policy change by Citibank.

This is the new policy:

[…] Today, our CEO announced Citi is instituting a new U.S. Commercial Firearms Policy. […] Under this new policy, we will require new retail sector clients or partners to adhere to these best practices: (1) they don’t sell firearms to someone who hasn’t passed a background check, (2) they restrict the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age, and (3) they don’t sell bump stocks or high-capacity magazines. This policy will apply across the firm, including to small business, commercial and institutional clients, as well as credit card partners, whether co-brand or private label.

Citibank has every right to do what they are doing. However, the American public has every right to choose whether or not to do business with Citibank. Unfortunately the American public did not have any say in the $476.2 billion in cash and guarantees that Citibank received from TARP, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis .

The article notes:

However, with more and more organizations deciding to limit the use of their products and services based on political ideology; and with Citibank now openly stating their intent to create national legislation without actually applying congressional laws to their endeavors; it’s a fair request to say Citi-group should no longer be permitted any favorable benefits from the FDIC.

As a private company, Citibank has the right to a company policy about guns, but restricting the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age is contrary to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  I wonder if a retail sector client has a legal case against Citibank if he refuses to abide by these terms and his business is prohibited from using Citibank credit cards.

The idea of injecting political views into business practices can be a problem. What if a bank decides it will not grant car loans to cars that run on gasoline because they believe in the concept of electric cars? What if a bank refuses loans to homes unless they have solar power? A corporation has the right to set their own company policies, but those policies should be in line with the U.S. Constitution if they are a business based in America.

 

Regular Readers Of This Blog Know This, But Here It Is Again

I  have periodically posted the YouTube video “Burning Down the House” on this website to remind people what actually caused the housing bubble as opposed to what they were being told caused the housing bubble. There is a reason I am posting it again.

In December 2012, a website called examiner.com posted a story with the headline, “New study confirms economy was destroyed by Democrat policies.” Sounds like the video at YouTube. The study was done by the National Bureau of Economic Research and released the week of December 21, 2012.

The article reports:

-No one was making bad loans to unqualified people until Democrats came along and threatened to drag banks into court and have them fined and branded as racists if they didn’t go along with the left’s Affirmative Action lending policies…all while federally insuring their losses. Even the New York Times warned in the late 1990s that Democrats continuing to force banks into lowering their standards would lead to this exact catastrophe.

Obama himself is even on the record personally helping sue one lender (Citibank) into lowering its lending standards to include people from extremely poor and unstable areas, which even one of the left’s favorite blatantly partisan “fact-checkers,” Snopes, admits (while pretending to ‘set the record straight’).

If we are to remain a free people, we need to understand facts–not spin. The lies that have been told about the financial collapse of 2007 are astounding. Even worse is the fact that the Dodd-Frank legislation passed as a result of the collapse does not come anywhere near addressing the core issue.

The graph below from the National Bureau of Economic Research study shows the impact of the Community Reinvestment Act on mortgage lending:

It is time to change both the Washington culture and the media culture. Unless we do that fairly quickly, we will cease to exist as a free, prosperous nation.

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