In 2008 the American taxpayer was a “client without a voice” when Citi-Group demanded a financial bailout. TARP followed as the largest bailout in history, and Citibank got the biggest bailout of all:
The final report from the Congressional Oversight Panel found that between TARP, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve, Citigroup received the most federal funding during the financial crisis for a total of $476.2 billion in cash and guarantees. (link)
Fast forward ten years and now Citibank announces their intent to restrict business enterprise engaged in the Second Amendment, firearm sales. The motive is transparent; leadership within Citi-group are opponents to gun ownership and they have now made a decision to use their financial business as a weapon to enforce their political beliefs:
[…] 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. (more)
It is important to keep in mind that all three issues outlined by Citibank are not unlawful; these are social policies around firearm sales that Citibank is initiating on their own. If you follow the underlying policy to a reasonable outcome, the same approach could be taken toward barring auto dealers (who use Citi-financial products) from selling gasoline powered automobiles, because the people running Citibank are environmentalists.
In the current example they don’t like certain types of gun purchases (18 year olds, 20 round magazines, etc.), so ask yourself what will they not like next?
Regardless of how you feel about guns think about what this financial service company is doing here.
What happens when they don’t like the political position of Home Depot?
What happens when they don’t like the free speech of Alex Jones (Info-Wars)?
Beyond the ‘second amendment’ you can just as easily see Citi-group using their monolithic financial control to target the ‘first amendment’.
Perhaps it wouldn’t be so particularly annoying if Citibank didn’t demand the previous taxpayer bailout (TARP); I don’t remember gun owners having the option of exclude their tax receipts from the bailout request of Citi in 2008?
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.
If you are stunned by their position…. What can you do about it?
Disconnect yourselves from Citigroup: ♦If you have investments with Citigroup pull out of their service; move your money. ♦Drop Citigroup as a lender or mortgage provider. ♦Cut up your Citigroup credit cards. ♦Never take a loan from Citigroup. ♦Or, ultimately for those in business…. if you are a business that takes Citigroup financial products as payment, consider applying a surcharge for any customer who uses Citibank credit or debit cards.
♦Citibank customers paying an additional, say… 5% surcharge might just catch someone’s attention. Just sayin’.