Several Senate Democrats will oppose President Joe Biden’s nomination of a far-left candidate to the crucial Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), according to reports.
Axios reported on Nov. 24 that three members of the Democrat side of the Senate told Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) “of their opposition” to the confirmation of controversy-laden Saule Omarova to the position. The article says the trio were “joined in opposing her” by another pair of Dems.
The names named are:
- Jon Tester (D-MT)
- Mark Warner (D-VA)
- Krysten Sienma (D-AZ)
- John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
- Mark Kelly (D-AZ)
Offices for all five Senators declined to provide comment to Axios by the time of publication.
Wikipedia describes the OCC as a bureau nested within the U.S. Department of Treasury that “serves to charter, regulate, and supervise all national banks and thrift institutions and the federally licensed branches and agencies of foreign banks in the United States.”
The OCC is a major player, which according to the article, “Regulates and supervises about 1,200 national banks, federally-licensed savings associations, and federally-licensed branches of foreign banks in the United States, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total assets of all U.S. commercial banks.”
Wikipedia also puts the OCC on the same plane as “other financial regulatory agencies” such as the FDIC and Federal Reserve.
In September, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fl) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) penned a letter to the OCC and its Acting Comptroller Michael Hsu voicing serious concerns arising from Chase Bank cancelling the credit cards of Gen. Michael Flynn’s wife because of so-called “reputational risk.”
The lawmakers said the move made the reputational risk classification a major concern because it “could include the political views or histories of the bank’s customers.”
“If political views are considered a valid factor in a bank’s determination of reputational risk for the purposes of determining access to credit, the banking services of millions of Americans could be put in jeopardy.”
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The letter also said that after Biden took office in January, the OCC halted the Fair Access to Financial Services (FAFS) rule, initiated under the previous administration, after a slew of Inauguration Day Executive Orders that unwound a variety of Donald Trump policies and imposed a regulatory freeze.
A Feb. 5 Legal Sidebar published by the Congressional Research Service summarized the FAFS in the following way, “The Rule would generally prohibit national banks and federal savings associations with at least $100 billion in total assets from denying financial services to corporate entities, businesses, nonprofits, or individuals solely on a ‘subjective basis’ and would set standards to impartially evaluate customer risk.”
Biden’s OCC Comptroller nominee, Saule Omarova, a native of Kazakhstan, was called into question in October when the Washington Free Beacon revealed Omarova had scrubbed a paper titled Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital written during her time at Moscow State University in 1989. Kazakhstan was a part of the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991.
However, the Marxist paper appeared on a version of her CV as recent as 2017. On Oct. 5, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, wrote to Omarova demanding a copy of the thesis.
The nominee did not acquiesce to the query.
Omarova, who currently works as a professor at Cornell Law School, further elaborated her ideological stance in an October of 2020 published a paper titled The People’s Ledger: How to Democratize Money and Finance the Economy, which effectively combined Marxist redistribution of wealth with an outlook similar to globalist faction World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset.
In the paper, Omarova discussed utilizing the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as a pretext to push forward “the issuance of central bank digital currency and the provision of retail deposit accounts by central banks.”
She described her ideas as offering “a blueprint for a comprehensive restructuring of the central bank balance sheet as the basis for redesigning the core architecture of modern finance.”
“Focusing on the U.S. Federal Reserve System (the Fed), the Article outlines a series of structural reforms that would radically redefine the role of a central bank as the ultimate public platform for generating, modulating, and allocating financial resources in a democratic economy—the People’s Ledger,” reads the Abstract.
Omarova stated that the pandemic had supposedly “amplified recent calls to create free digital-dollar deposit accounts at the Federal Reserve for every American household and business.” In her paper, this concept was coined with the name “FedAccounts,” which the nominee extols as “represent[ing] an explicitly political—and consciously progressive—take on the traditionally technocratic proposals to issue central bank digital currency.”
“For U.S. citizens, Individual FedAccounts would be opened automatically upon birth or naturalization. These accounts would also be credited automatically with regularly received federal benefits: social security payments, tax refunds, and all other disbursements that depend on one’s citizenship status,” she elaborated.
Biden’s OCC nominee continued to sell the revolutionary theory that would see American finance become completely centralized, with a rose-colored tint: “Offering deposit accounts to individuals and entities will enable the Fed to modulate the aggregate supply of money and credit by directly crediting and debiting the accounts of all participants in economic activity, without interposing intermediary-banks.”
She framed the Federal Reserve having the ability to directly alter the sum of accounts based on central whims as an “unconventional (by present standards) monetary policy.”
Omarova further described the function as the ability to provide free money through a “‘helicopter drop’ or ‘QE for the people.’”
Breitbart News pointed out that the move would “mean the end of community banking because community banks fund most of their assets with deposits,” noting an FDIC report that found 84 percent of local banks are funded on deposits.
The outlet also noted this was of particular weight to the farming and small business sector, as the same report also noted that community banks held 36 percent of small business loans and 31 percent of farming debt.
Omarova has expressed other left-wing economic views. In early November, she said that “for certain troubled industries and firms that are in transitioning,” primarily the coal, oil, and gas industries, “a lot of the smaller players in that industry are going to probably go bankrupt in short order.”
She added, “At least we want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change, right?”
Last week, during Senate confirmation hearings, Omarova was asked by Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), “Will you pledge today not to repeat Operation Choke Point and politicize the banking industry by targeting socially suboptimal companies?”
Omarova sidestepped the question, saying, “I will make sure that the agency acts only within its legal mandate and performs its mission and does not create, does not step into the shoes of Congress and other policymakers who need to make the substantive decisions.”
A 2014 opinion piece by William Isaac published in the Wall Street Journal described Operation Choke Point as a means of enforcing top-down control: “The real goal of the program announced last year—or at the very least a desired collateral benefit—is to target entire industries deemed undesirable by putting regulatory pressure on the banks that serve them”
Isaac, who served as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., wrote: “The government has gone after two dozen businesses including ammunition dealers, check-cashers, payday lenders, telemarketers, firearms and fireworks vendors, raffles, pharmaceutical sellers, surveillance-equipment firms and home-based charities.”
“The Justice Department and several regulators have pressured banks to close accounts with these businesses—on a sweeping, industry-wide basis—without any proof of wrongdoing. By choking off their access to bank services, the government is attempting to shut these industries down or drive them underground.”