According to reports Crypto, the Biden government intends to appoint Kazakh-American lawyer, academic and former political advisor Saule Omarova to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the watchdog of the United States’ banking sector.
Omarova has come under fire in the past for both crypto assets and the legacy banking sector after pledging to “end banking as we know it.” She described cryptocurrencies as “primarily the dysfunctional financial system that we already have”.
22 Bloomberg report, citing three anonymous sources “familiar with the nomination process,” Omarova could be nominated as early as this week.
Currently, Omarova is a law professor at Cornell University Law School and is expected to seek stricter regulations on cryptocurrencies as she has labeled the sector a threat to economic stability and ripe for abuse by large private financial institutions. The academy specializes in banking law and corporate finance.
If confirmed, Omarova’s tenure at the OCC will likely include a significant shift from the previous administration, with former Coinbase legal officer and crypto advocate Brian Brooks running the agency at the end of Trump’s presidency.
Omarova has also instituted radical regulations for the financial industry, advocating that consumer banking services be administered solely by the Federal Reserve, not private institutions. She previously served as Special Regulatory Advisor to the US Treasury Department during the George W. Bush presidency.
Analysts don’t believe Omarova will get the OCC job without a fight, however, as the Democrats currently hold a slim majority in the Senate and the banking sector is expected to oppose her appointment.
If appointed, Omarova would be the first woman to officially run the company, despite the fact that OCC has been run by a feminist leader in the past.
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The New York Times reported that the Biden administration began considering Omarova for the role in early August.
While the Democrats had previously considered former Treasury Department official Michael Barr and law professor Mehra Baradaran for the role, they were dropped after the Democrats decided that none of the candidates likely received enough support to qualify for validation justify.