DealBook Briefing: Could Banks Take a Role in Writing New Gun Rules?

“In the current vapid, repetitive debate over guns, at last a focus on following the money, the best way to go with banks taking some responsibility.  Better still, our proposal that insurance companies, which already insure gun owners, join with many others in the insurance industry to require all gun owners and purchasers to buy insurance . This is a great new market, does not touch any 2nd Amendment  issues, as insurers increasingly exit from insuring healthcare.  This market-based reform treating gun ownership the same way we treat vehicle ownership (also a deadly weapon) is already occurring!  Chubb and Lockton Affinity Group are just two insurance companies already insuring gun owners!  This extension of insurance can begin NOW!

~Hazel Henderson,Editor“

February 20, 2018

Good Tuesday morning. The official in charge of regulating virtual currencies in South Korea (where Andrew is this week and was expecting to write about the regulation of Bitcoin) was found dead at home on Sunday.

Just in: Walmart’s fourth-quarter earnings missed expectations. Its shares were down in premarket trading.   Joshua Lott/Getty Images

How financial firms could set new rules for gun sales

Andrew writes:My latest column, on how banks and credit card companies could restrict support of gun sales in the wake of last week’s school shooting, has stirred up chatter in the business world. I’ve heard from people throughout corporate America overnight since it was published. Many said privately that they want to look at what they can do.More from the column:

There is precedent for credit card issuers to ban the purchase of completely legal products. Just this month, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America banned the use of their cards to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

To be clear: Those three banks won’t let you use your credit card to buy Bitcoin, but they will happily let you use it to buy an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle — the same kind of gun used in mass shootings in Parkland; Newtown, Conn.; San Bernardino, Calif.; Las Vegas; and Sutherland Springs, Tex.

Elsewhere in gun regulation: President Trump expressed some openness to tightening background checks.Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin in Pyeongchang, and Michael J. de la Merced and Amie Tsang in London.

Eric Thayer for The New York Times

How Facebook ended up quoted by Trump and apologizing to Mueller

Days after Rob Goldman, its vice president of advertising, tried to clear up misconceptions about the company’s role in the 2016 presidential election, Facebook still finds itself in hot water. President Trump took the tweets as proof that Russia didn’t try to help him win, while critics said they contradicted Robert Mueller’s indictment.Mr. Goldman apologized in an internal Facebook post. But his tweets — which contained inaccuracies — suggested that Facebook executives still don’t understand how central the company was to Russia’s misinformation campaign, according to Nicholas Thomson of Wired.More from Kevin Roose of the NYT:In real-world terms, a part of Facebook still sees itself as the bank that got robbed, rather than the architect who designed a bank with no safes, and no alarms or locks on the doors, and then acted surprised when burglars struck.Josh Hendler, the former head of tech for the Democratic National Committee, told the WSJ, “It was an almost perfect example of Silicon Valley overconfidence and lack of sophistication when it comes to politics.”