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Biden to nominate anti-crypto law professor to run the OCC

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The United States President Joe Biden plans to appoint a critic of cryptocurrencies and the existing banking system as the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) as part of the Ministry of Finance. Bloomberg reported this with reference to its own sources.

Saule Omarova, a law professor at Cornell University, a native of Kazakhstan and a graduate of Moscow State University, previously said that she wants to “put an end to banking as we know it.”

She also noted that the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies “mainly benefits the already existing non-functional system”. In her opinion, digital tokens threaten to destabilize the economy. Moreover, they are vulnerable to abuse by private companies to the detriment of state guarantees.

The administration is considering Saule Omarova’s candidacy

Thus, Omarova spoke in favor of transferring consumer deposits to digital accounts at the Federal Reserve System (the Fed), which she described as part of a plan to “radically change the basic architecture and dynamics of modern finance.”

According to The New York Times, the administration has been considering her candidacy since August.

“The scientific works of Saule Omarova give an idea of how she can approach a new position. In her research, she emphasizes that transactions with cryptocurrencies allow banks to conduct more trading operations outside the field of view of the Fed and other regulatory authorities. As the head of the department, Omarova may try to strengthen supervision of such processes. Including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup,” the publication wrote at the time.

Internal party disagreements

According to Bloomberg, Omarova’s candidacy may face difficulties when approved in Congress, since large financial institutions that are sponsors of both parties will lobby against her.

The publication recalled that due to internal party disagreements, the administration has already rejected two candidates under consideration. One of them was former Ripple adviser Michael Barr. Barr was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions during the presidency of Barack Obama. In 2015, he became a member of the Ripple Advisory Board. Currently, Barr is not included in it.

The OCC regulates and supervises all national banks and savings institutions, as well as licensing federal divisions of foreign banks. The person who will head the OCC will become one of the most influential among banking regulators.

Recall that the previous head of the OCC, Brian P. Brooks, resigned in January 2021.

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