Biden Banking Nominee Would Have ‘Most Powerful, Least Accountable’ Position over Cryptocurrencies, Banking

Saule T. Omarova attending Committee hearing titled: “Fintech: Examining Digitization, Data, and Technology.” on September 18, 2018.
Senate Banking Committee, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, if confirmed, would have the “most powerful, least accountable” position over cryptocurrencies and the banking industry.

President Joe Biden nominated Cornell law professor Saule Omarova last week to serve as head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks.

The OCC gave cryptocurrency platform Anchorage conditional approval for a national bank charter, which was a first for the industry. Protego Trust Co. and Paxos has since received conditional approval for charters.

However, Omarova could unwind many of the previous charter approvals for cryptocurrency companies and block many charter approval requests.

“It really is the most powerful, least accountable job in the government,” a former senior government official told Breitbart News.

Although the OCC is a part of the Treasury Department, it is an independent branch of the Treasury Department that can operate with wide autonomy. Since the position operates for five years, Omarova, if confirmed, could serve in the position beyond a one-term Biden presidency.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, has asked Omarova to provide the committee a copy of her thesis, “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital.

Omarova has not provided a copy of her 1989 Moscow State University thesis to the Banking Committee.

Toomey said in a statement last week:

All nominees within the Committee’s jurisdiction are required to provide their writings, articles, and papers. Unfortunately, Professor Omarova appears to believe she is exempt from these rules. In order for lawmakers to fully and fairly consider Professor Omarova’s nomination to serve as our nation’s top banking regulator, we need a complete picture of her policy positions. The fact that she recently deleted references to her thesis begs the question: what is she hiding?

Breitbart News Economics Editor John Carney noted that Omarova would end community banking as we know it if the Senate confirms her.

Last week, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) told Breitbart News that Omarova’s support of “Communist ideals” disqualifies her for the position.

Omarova’s radical beliefs have even raised concerns with at least three Senate Democrats.

“Republicans will overwhelmingly oppose this self-described radical,” Toomey told Axios.

“Saule Omarova is eminently qualified and was nominated for this role because of her lifetime of work on financial regulation, including in the private sector, in government and as a leading academic in the field,” the Biden White House told Axios.

“The White House continues to strongly support her historic nomination,” the White House official added.

Omarova’s writings have exhibited her hostility to cryptocurrencies.

In “New Tech v. New Deal: Fintech as a Systemic Phenomenon,” Omarova wrote, “Crypto-assets … are effectively untethered from…any productive activity in the real economy.”

Omarova also contended that “Fintech” is a “systemic phenomenon.”

In “The People’s Ledger How to Democratize Money and Finance the Economy” Omarova calls to eliminate all community banks and to transfer all bank deposits to “FedAccounts” at the Federal Reserve.

When talking about FedAccounts, the former senior government official said, “The Democratic Party over the last couple of administrations, they want the government to essentially take over a lot of financial functions from banks.”

The former senior government official argued the “political left doesn’t like crypto, because right now the left is all about command and control, they want to control your thinking, they want to control your spending, etc. And, crypto doesn’t allow that because there is no person. It’s a decentralized network for peer-to-peer exchange where nobody can tell you what to spend your money on. That’s a problem. If you believe in controlling people.”

The Biden nominee claimed the Federal Reserve has the “unique ability” to act as the nation’s “ultimate portfolio manager” and that ability should be “utilized to the maximum benefit.”

Many central banks across the world have explored creating their own digital currency, or a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Omarova contended that using America’s current banking system would “significantly complicate the task of designing CBDC and slow down the process of its implementation.”

Further, Omarova even advocates for the “issuance of general-purpose CBDC and concurrent migration of all transaction despite from private banks to the Federal Reserve.”

Omarova’s advancement of CBDCs and further control of America’s financial system would grant the federal government immense control of Americans’ money.

The former senior government official said, “And, why do they want to do that? Because eventually, they want to be able to decide which transactions to approve and disapprove of. You know, that’s what it’s ultimately all about.”

National Security Agency surveillance (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that the creation of CBDCs could annihilate the “savings of every wage-worker in the country.”

Snowden wrote that the creation of a CBDC could grant governments, including the United States, near totalitarian levels control over Americans’ money.

He called CBDCs “a perversion […] of the founding principles and protocols of cryptocurrency—a cryptofascist currency, an evil twin entered into the ledgers on Opposite Day, expressly designed to deny its users the basic ownership of their money and to install the State at the mediating center of every transaction.”

Omarova appears to blame the rise of cryptocurrencies for digitizing finance, wresting control over Americans’ money from the government.

She wrote in “Technology v. Technology: Fintech as a Regulatory Challenge” that the “root of the problem” in the “massive digitization of finance” is the “critical shift in the … balance of power in the financial system” away from government control.

Omarova called for government surveillance of cryptocurrency transactions.

She wrote that she wants the government to have “the ability not only to monitor crypto-trades from the outside, in the way traditional regulators do but also to operate directly inside the relevant markets.”

“Given the speed and velocity of crypto-asset trading, the speed of government responses to destabilizing price shocks is of paramount importance,” Omarova wrote, calling for the ability to immediately intervene in financial markets.

During a Senate Banking Committee hearing in September, Omarova said, “Democratizing finance… is an inherently political exercise,” and we can only achieve that goal “through a coherent and comprehensive program of [government] reforms.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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