Chicago’s mayor tries to enlist banks in anti-gun campaign

Boston Globe – by Mary Williams Walsh

Fresh from persuading a $5 billion pension fund in Chicago to divest from companies that make firearms, the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, on Thursday urged the chief executives of two major banks to stop financing companies ‘‘that profit from gun violence.’’

Emanuel sent letters to TD Bank, which provides a $60 million credit line to Smith & Wesson, and to Bank of America, which provides a $25 million line to Sturm, Ruger & Co., asking the CEOs to push the companies to ‘‘find common ground with the vast majority of Americans who support a military weapons and ammunition ban.’’

Emanuel’s effort to enlist banks in the gun control campaign is just one example of a new willingness by a public official, galvanized by last month’s carnage in Newtown, Conn., to wield the power of the purse.

New York state’s big public pension fund and California’s fund for teachers have already frozen or divested their holdings in guns, and California’s fund for other public workers, known as Calpers, is expected to take up the issue in February. Massachusetts Treasurer Steve Grossman has also directed the state pension fund to review any investments in gun, ammunition, and other companies. New York City’s public advocate has put pressure on banks and investment firms by ranking their gun holdings by size and calling those with the 12 biggest stakes the Dirty Dozen.

‘‘Elected leaders understand that this is a tool of government with huge ramifications,’’ said the public advocate, Bill de Blasio, who is a trustee of the city’s $45 billion pension fund. ‘‘What happened in Newtown sort of crystallized this.’’


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In Philadelphia, Mayor Michael A. Nutter has prepared a wide-ranging set of principles that companies would have to adopt before receiving city pension money. He calls them the Sandy Hook Principles, after the Newtown elementary school, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults with an assault-style weapon on Dec. 14. They are modeled on the approach the city took more than a decade ago to put pressure on companies doing business in South Africa under apartheid.

How successful Emanuel, himself a one-time investment banker, will be with bank executives is also uncertain. He cannot make them sever business relationships. He told the Bank of America chief, Brian T. Moynihan, and the TD Bank chief, Bharat B. Masrani, that the trustees of Chicago’s main pension fund had just voted to unload more than $1 million worth of gun stocks, and said it was time for the bankers to get on board. ‘‘We can no longer wait,’’ he wrote.

A spokesman for Bank of America declined to comment on Emanuel’s letter. A spokeswoman for TD Bank said she had not yet seen the letter and could not comment on it.

De Blasio said he had already seen results from his Dirty Dozen list, a ranking of the New York-based financial services companies with the biggest holdings of firearms manufacturers. Compiled from filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the list includes hedge funds, banks, investment firms and an insurance company.

The day after he unveiled the list at a news conference, he said, he received a phone call from Laurence D. Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, which de Blasio ranked second with gun holdings of about $346 million.

“Obviously, he was concerned about how the public saw the firm,’’ said de Blasio, who is running to succeed Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, an outspoken advocate of gun control. He said Fink told him that BlackRock would start offering its clients funds with no exposure to firearms.

BlackRock does not actively pick weapons makers as an investment strategy, a spokesman said. Rather, it offers index funds to its clients and buys the stakes as it duplicates the makeup of stock indexes that include gun makers. The spokesman confirmed that BlackRock could offer its institutional clients the same index funds as before, with the gun assets stripped out. He did not say whether the offering had been made in response to de Blasio’s list.

The biggest gun investor on the list, with at least $706 million in gun holdings, was Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm that created a small conglomerate called the Freedom Group out of a number of smaller makers of guns, ammunition, and shooting accessories.

5 thoughts on “Chicago’s mayor tries to enlist banks in anti-gun campaign

  1. “In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, the lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

    Theodore Dalrymple

    1. I think the fact, that DHS and other government agencies, have bought enough .40 caliber ammunition to wage war on the American people until 2020, is disturbing enough. Especially in light of the fact, that our government is infested with dual Israeli-U.S. “citizens”, whose allegiance is more to Israel, Zionism, and the International Central Bankers, than to the United States, or Americans. These same KHAZARS, took out the Romanov Family, and killed off between 20 and 60 million Russian peasants, after their 1917 coup, in Russia, all with funding from Rothschild agents (such as Jacob Schiff) on Wall St., and elsewhere in Europe (-Germany comes to mind, as Lenin was given safe passage from Germany, aboard a sealed/closed train, into Russia). They basically stole the wealth of the Tsar, which he had invested in Western banks. They did the same thing, basically, in America, in 1913, when they established the so-called ‘Federal’ ‘Reserve’. They didn’t need to depose a Royal Family, like the Romanovs or the Bourbons (such as Louis XVI – another of their coups) – no, they just usurped the existing National Government, and the people of the United States, by taking away their power to issue debt-free currency. This was the issue that the American Revolution was fought over. According to Ben Franklin, it was because George III (and the ‘Crown’ Corp., no doubt, of the ‘City’ of London), wouldn’t let the Colonies and the Colonists have THEIR OWN SCRIP, that was the central issue, that led to the American Revolution. We should be doing everything we can, to get rid of the so-called ‘Federal’ ‘Reserve’, and allowing the U.S. Treasury to issue our currency – DEBT-FREE. Yes, our government has been hijacked, by the International Central Bankers, who own the so-called ‘Federal’ ‘Reserve’, and their many, minions. They plan on collapsing the ‘global’ economy. There WILL BE fallout. Better to be prepared, than not. If you are aware and prepared, you’ll be less fearful, and better able to cope, mentally, when or if events begin to get really bizarre, or out-of-control. (‘Ordo ab Chao’ is their motto. Word to the wise.) We should all be trying to live more self-sufficiently anyway, and to rely less on government to take care of us – as this is what has got us all into this mess, in the first place. Be more self-reliant!

  2. Rahm Emanuel, on Thursday urged the chief executives of two major banks to stop financing companies ‘‘that profit from gun violence.’’

    That is true Facism in the Original Mussolini form. Brothers in Arms.
    Funny is that banks tell us that financing companies with loans is the way they make money. To expand on that: That is how they profit…

    Ah the true face comes out. That bullets in the end, are more worth then any pretty painting on paper.

    1. No one here gets it???

      This is ANOTHER zionist infiltrator who is not a true US citizen- and doesnt have US interests at heart, but is fighting for foreign Israeli agenda. Just as he did in Persian Gulf War when he fled to IDF service instead of having his traitorous boots on the ground in the dangerous sands of Iraq with American troops. Yet he returns here after having fought for a foreign nation with the privilege of usurping OUR nation’s top power position as Big City Mayor. How may US vets even get to see a good doctor?

      People for Gods sake wake up and see the core issue for a change.
      The takeover of America by treason is destroying us!

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