President Joe Biden's appointment for Comptroller of the Currency, Saule Omarova, is facing opposition from powerful senators and banking groups over calls for radical changes to the way the U.S. banking system works by giving the Federal Reserve near total control of the entire financial system.
Omarova, who grew up in the former Soviet Union and attended Moscow State University on the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship, in a recent paper titled "The People’s Ledger: How to Democratize Money and Finance the Economy," suggests that the central bank’s balance sheet should be redesigned to operate as "the ultimate public platform for both modulating and allocating the flow of sovereign credit and money in the national economy."
She also wrote a thesis titled, "Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital," of which Sen. Pat Toomey, ranking Republican on the Banking Committee, has requested a copy.
"Given that your thesis was written while you were a student at Moscow State University in the late 1980s, I assume that it was written in Russian and will require translation," Toomey wrote, adding that committee staff had previously reached out about the thesis. "Unfortunately, we have not received any assurances that the Committee would receive a copy of the paper in a timely fashion."
Bank groups oppose her nomination, The New York Times reports. A day after the White House announcement, Rob Nichols, the president of the American Bankers Association, said Omarova's proposals would "effectively nationalize America’s community banks."
Her past tweets about the Soviet Union have also drawn scrutiny.
"Until I came to the US, I couldn’t imagine that things like gender pay gap still existed in today’s world. Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn’t always 'know best,'" she wrote.
The Wall Street Journal editorialized that Omarova wants to eliminate the banks she’s being appointed to regulate.
"As comptroller, Ms. Omarova would supervise some 1,200 financial institutions. While she couldn’t enact her People’s Agenda without legislation, she would have sweeping powers to punish banks that don’t follow her diktats," the Journal wrote.
Her nomination to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency needs to be approved by the Senate. Democrats have a tenuous majority there, with key moderate senators who might oppose Omarova's nomination.
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