As we noted back in April, John Schroder, Treasurer of Louisiana objected to two big money center banks’ newly announced anti-gun policies. He let it be known that because of their policies refusing to do business with companies that make “assault rifles” or “high-capacity” magazines. It was all part of the post-Parkland conspicuous moral preening that saw other corporate giants like Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Delta Airlines, Symantec and others drop their deals with the NRA.
At the time, Louisiana Treasurer Schroder said,
“Do I as your state treasurer want to do business with companies that impose these kinds of policies?” said Treasurer John Schroder, the Republican who chairs the (state bond) commission. “And the answer to me was clearly no.”
Democrat Governor Jon Bel Edwards criticized what he called Schroder’s “political posturing.” But as the process of arranging the underwriting for Louisiana’s Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle Bonds for road and bridge improvements played out, opponents to giving the megabanks any piece of the business gathered supporters. Now . . .
The State Bond Commission voted, 7-6, to exclude CitiGroup and Bank of America from its negotiations of a $600 million deal because the banks refuse to finance certain gun retailers.
“You’re in the banking business. Why have you decided to enter into the policy-making business?” Rep. Blake Miguez, R-Erath, asked the CitiGroup bank representative at Thursday’s commission meeting.
An excellent question, Rep. Miquez. Of course, we know the answer. They believe that the benefit from the positive press coverage of their socially conscious stance in opposition to “weapons of war” outweighs the costs of alienating the nation’s 100+ million gun owners and a large number of their customers.
Nearly 20 banks applied to underwrite the bonds, and the winning bank will act as an agent throughout negotiations. Some commission members argued that barring two of the nation’s largest banks from the process could mean higher interest rates and more expensive fees.
“There’s nothing we discussed today that somehow maximizes the state’s savings or puts us in a better light,” Sen. Eric LaFleur, D-Ville Platte, said.
“You can’t put a price tag on the second amendment,” Miguez said.
This, of course, is the only way to fight moves like those made by Citi, B of A, or any of the other corporate giants. Their anti-gun policies have to be seen as having a resulting cost that affects their bottom lines. Louisiana’s move, on its own, is relatively small and won’t make much of a dent in either bank’s profit numbers. But it’s a start.