A secret Obama administration project, unleashed in 2013 and dubbed “Operation Chokepoint,” was the progenitor of the current campaign to de-bank ideologically incorrect businesses. Few Americans, including most in Congress, understood that the previous administration was running a covert program through the Department of Justice, FDIC, and CFPB, forcing banks to cut ties with lawful businesses that were ideologically unacceptable. Thankfully, the Trump administration ended this program, but the blueprint for Operation Chokepoint unfortunately lives on.
The concern regarding the politicization of our banking system is obvious, primarily because banking discrimination is prohibited by law. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency notes that federal agencies “will not tolerate lending discrimination in any form.” And that includes singling out customers whose business may offend a particular grievance group. No American is secure when our economic system, anchored in complex and comprehensive banking regulations, is held hostage to a political agenda.
Today it will be gun makers, private detentions, or fossil fuel companies finding themselves locked out of banks. Tomorrow it will be contractors building the border wall, or the defense industry, or Big Tech, or companies that dare serve religious institutions. What would happen if banks started targeting companies the Left favored, such as renewable energy companies or abortion clinics? Leftists would certainly sing a different tune then.