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JPMorgan’s Texas Muni Work Becomes Latest Culture War Fallout

  • Legal risk of Texas law prevents work with government: bank
  • New GOP legislation targets companies for gun policies
Open carry gun rally in Austin, Texas.

Photographer: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

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The largest U.S. bank says it’s being shut out of underwriting municipal-bond deals in Texas after the state enacted a law banning government work with banks that limit business with the firearms industry.

Due to the legislation, JPMorgan Chase & Co. won’t bid on business with public entities in Texas, a key market where the bank underwrote $3.6 billion of municipal debt sales in 2020. Texas-based borrowers sold more than $58 billion of bonds in 2020, the most of any state after California, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. As part of bond offerings, borrowers often hire banks ahead of time and pay them a fee for underwriting the sales.