Biden to entrust Wall Street critic Omarova as top bank cop


Omarova wrote in favor of restructuring the Federal Reserve and recommended that it provide bank accounts to consumers, which she said would make the financial system “less complex, more stable and more efficient in meeting long-term needs. term of the American people. “This view is likely to make his appointment controversial, especially for Republicans in the Senate.

Earlier this year, she told POLITICO that the big financial institutions “hold so much power now and they move so much money through their own channels that it is effectively impossible through rules and some enforcement. really shape what they do “.

She also expressed skepticism that so-called fintech and cryptocurrency companies can offer consumers the kind of disruptive benefits they promise.

“What we should really be thinking about is what should we do to shift that balance and have the Fed and the Treasury and maybe other public institutions maybe take a bigger stake in the infrastructure? herself, in providing financial services, ”she said. “We need to bring more adults into the room, the adults meaning the audience.”

Neither Omarova nor the White House responded to requests for comment. The news of his selection as head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency had already been reported by Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Omarova’s selection follows in the line of financial regulatory contenders who have appealed to the left, including Rohit Chopra, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau candidate and Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, although progressives also expressed their exasperation at the slowness of some of these appointments.

The news also comes as financial observers wait for a decision on whether Biden will re-elect Jerome Powell as chairman of the Federal Reserve, another key banking regulator. The post of vice chairman of supervision of the Fed, the czar of central bank regulation, is also expected to open next month, and activists have been pushing for an aggressive regulator to be called upon for the role.

Omarova, from Kazakhstan, would be the first woman and the first person of color to lead the OCC on a permanent basis. His impending appointment puts an end to a drama that unfolded under the Biden administration over who should get the green light as comptroller.

Biden’s first lead candidate – former Treasury official Michael Barr – was not named after his consideration sparked a backlash from Progressive Democrats, who instead pushed law professor Mehrsa Baradaran for the post. In the meantime, the OCC has been headed by Acting Comptroller Michael Hsu, a former Federal Reserve official.

Omarova served in the Treasury Department under President George W. Bush and previously worked as a lawyer at Davis Polk, where she specialized in various corporate transactions and advisory work in the area of ​​financial regulation, according to his Cornell biography.


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