Morning Money Memo…
Chipotle is asking customers not to bring guns into its stores. The Denver-based company has traditionally complied with local laws. But the re-think came after Chipotle says gun rights advocates recently brought military-style assault rifles into one of its restaurants. “The display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers,” said a company statement. Last year, Starbucks told customers that guns were no longer welcome in its cafes after it had to close a store to avoid a demonstration by gun rights advocates. The Seattle-based coffee chain stopped short of a ban.
The Justice Department’s crackdown on offshore banks that help American tax cheats hide money from the IRS may be far from over. Credit Suisse is the largest financial institution to enter a guilty plea in two decades. Switzerland’s second biggest bank admitted criminal wrongdoing and agreed to pay the U.S. government $2.6 billion in penalties. It was the largest penalty imposed in any criminal tax case, according to department officials. “This case shows no financial institution, no matter its size or global reach is above the law,” says Attorney General Eric Holder. Credit Suisse acknowledged that it helped thousands of American clients hide their assets from the IRS. Other financial firms are being investigated. The U.S. government is also said to be seeking the names of account holders who evaded taxes by using secret accounts. Other Swiss banks are still facing criminal investigations by American authorities.
A U.S. court ruling is a blow to another big foreign company. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has refused to reconsider its previous ruling on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Businesses don’t have to prove they were directly harmed to collect settlement payments. The decision by an appeals court could be a step toward resuming a claims process. It was suspended after a district court ruling in December. BP spokesman Geoff Morrell says the company is considering its legal options.
The Federal Communications Commission says Sprint will pay $7.5 million in the largest Do Not Call settlement to date for making unwanted telemarketing calls and sending texts to consumers. The FCC says Sprint will also put a two-year plan in place to make sure it complies with commission requirements designed to prevent people from receiving unwanted marketing calls. The settlement follows an earlier one in 2011 in which Sprint paid $400,000 due to similar complaints.
The AMC television network says it is using the social media site Tumblr to premier its new series about the early days of personal computing. The series, “Halt and Catch Fire,” began as a sneak preview today on Tumblr. It will air the first time on AMC on June 1. The series is set in the early 1980s. It follows three people who team up to try and build a computer that will change the future.
Home Depot has raised its full-year profits guidance as it recovers from weaker-than-expected first quarter sales. Earnings rose 12 percent compared to last year, but the results came in short of Wall Street estimates. Home Depot, America’s largest home improvement retail chain, earned $1.38 billion.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow