Thinking Citizen Blog — Saule Omarova — Biden’s Pick for Comptroller of the Currency

Thinking Citizen Blog — Tuesday is Economics, Finance, and Business Day

Today’s Topic: Saule Omarova — Biden’s Pick for Comptroller of the Currency

Within the US Department of the Treasury, the Comptroller of the Currency is the regulator of the nation’s 1200 national banks. Other financial regulators include the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). Biden’s pick to run this critically important agency is Saule Omarova, a professor of law at Cornell University. She was born in Khazakhstan and emigrated to the US in 1991 having graduated from Moscow State University in 1989. She earned both a JD and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin and worked as a special advisor to the Undersecretary of the Treasury under the George W. Bush administration. She is a ferocious critic of the US banking system. Today a few notes from a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.


1. “Some Trump appointees were ridiculed for having supported the elimination of their agencies. Ms. Omarova wants to eliminate the banks she’s being appointed to regulate.”

2. “The Cornell University law school professor’s radical ideas might make even Bernie Sanders blush. She graduated from Moscow State University in 1989 on the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship. Thirty years later she still believes the Soviet Economic system was superior, and that US banking should be remade in the Gosbank’s image.”

3. “In a recent paper, “The People’s Ledger” she proposed that the Federal Reserve “take over consumer bank deposits, effectively end banking as we know it and become the ultimate public platform for generating, modulating, and allocating resources in a modern economy.”


1. “She has advocated expanding the Federal Reserve’s mandate to include such “systematically important financial assets” as worker wages. As they like to say at the modern university from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs.”

2. “She’d also like to create a central bank digital currency — as Venezuela and China are doing — “to redesign our financial system and turn the Fed’s balance sheet into a ‘People’s Ledger,” she tweeted this summer.’ What could possibly go wrong?”

3. “She’d also like a politically and structurally independent ‘Public Interest Council’ of ‘highly paid academics’ with broad subpoena power to supervise financial regulatory agencies, including the Fed. The Council, she explained, would not be subject to the ‘constraints and requirements of the administrative process.’ Ivy League professors know best.”


1. “Our sources say the President nominated Ms. Omarova over the objections of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, to whom the Comptroller reports.”

2. “One theory for this bizarre nomination is that Mr. Biden is trying to appease progressives because he plans to reappoint Jerome Powell as Fed chairman.”

3. “Democratic Senators have rubber-stamped all but a few of Biden’s nominees, but Ms. Omarova is the wrong nominee, for the wrong industry, in the wrong country, in the wrong century.”

NB: Would you vote to confirm Saule Omarova? Why? Why not? How financially literate is the typical US Senator? How historically literate? Who cares? Who should? What is to be done? Is it time to be the change you want to see in the world?

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