Finance

Banks and Trade Groups Reject Saule Omarova, Biden's New Currency Comptroller Pick

Omarova's starry-eyed view of the Soviet Union and interest in giving far more power to the Federal Reserve should not inspire confidence.

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Some people who survived the Soviet Union took its failures as lessons learned the hard way, not worth replicating. But not Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden's pick to serve as currency comptroller.

Born in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, Omarova is someone you might expect to be wary of the ways state power can distort markets at consumers' peril. Instead, the Cornell law professor tweets things like "Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn't always 'know best.'" She defended that claim by noting that salaries were set by the state and that maternity benefits were always generous.

How nice that communism can degrade both genders equally! Preventing people from being compensated for quality work across 11 timezones does not seem like a recipe for a productive, developed economy, and indeed it wasn't. But that gaffe wasn't an outlier. Omarova really does want to greatly expand state power, even if not to fully Soviet levels.

Omarova's most out-there academic ideas include directing the Federal Reserve to handle consumer deposits, taking that power away from banks. "Having Americans park their money at the Fed would allow the central bank to more directly and efficiently pull the levers of monetary policy by enabling it to credit individual citizens' accounts when there's a need to stimulate the economy," notes Politico.

Rob Nichols, president of the American Bankers Association, has said such policies would "effectively nationalize America's community banks," according to The New York Times. Omarova "wants to eliminate the banks she's being appointed to regulate," agrees the Wall Street Journal editorial board. Groups representing both big and small banks, including the American Bankers Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, and the Independent Community Bankers of America, have reached out to more moderate Democrats to lodge their opposition to the pick—a ballsy move, given that she may end up passing down the rules that these associations' members must later comply with.

"Recall that big banks always fight against regulation by claiming they lend to Main Street," she tweeted in July, along with a quote from an accompanying article: "JPMorgan and Citi are now lending more to a small number of ultra-high net worth clients than to their millions of credit card customers." (Note that JPMorgan and Citi Bank do, in fact, still lend to Main Street.) She has also branded herself as a cryptocurrency foe, like many of this administration's other recent picks, saying that digital currencies are "untethered" from the real economy. Amusingly, President Joe Biden likely sees her nomination as a safer pick designed to appease moderates, given that she worked for George W. Bush's administration.

Currency comptrollers, of course, do not have the power to do all the things Omarova has mused about in her academic writings, and dumb tweets here and there are not necessarily disqualifying. But the nominee's general hostility toward markets, coupled with faith that the Federal Reserve ought to take on more prominence, should give any libertarian pause.

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  1. Dodged a bullet

    1. This is the purposefully misplaced shot to get you to jump into a better position to drill you dead center.

      “At least this one wasn’t educated in the Soviet Union on a Leninist scholarship.”

      1. She’s terrible, but you think everyone to the left of Mike Lee is a Marxist.

        1. I don’t think you are a Marxist. Of course, I also don’t think you understand what makes one a Marxist.

          1. I know the word Marxist is one of the overused bogeyman words the right uses to rile up their foolish base. CRT has exploded lately too. Cancel culture. Just words to piss off the morons.

            1. Exactly. If you think Marxism is a boogeyman (bogeyman? lol!) you don’t understand what it is. You know who does? 1.6 billion Chinese. Hong Kong. Taiwan. All of the North and most South Koreans. All the former residents of the USSR. Most of SE Asia. Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba.

              There are entire ethnic groups who once understood it, but no longer exist.

              I am not the right, and I am not anybody’s base. I use it because it is appropriate when people are advocating for Marxist policies or derivatives thereof. I use it to denote the foolishness of a philosophy that has failed so utterly it lead to the death of hundreds of millions and submitted hundreds of millions more to reigns of terror. I use it because I understand it, not because I don’t.

              1. It is appropriate to use it to describe communists countries.

                Other than a few(Sanders, AOC) it does not accurately describe politicians here. Or people who didn’t vote for Trump. Or BLM. I mean Black Lives Matters. The Bureau of Land Management is nothing but commies.

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  2. … and dumb tweets here and there are not necessarily disqualifying.
    There’s a Mr. Trump on line 2!

  3. You could bank on Biden nominating someone awful.

    1. Got to be a way to cash in on this stupidity

    2. I ain’t Biden what they’re selling.

    3. You’ve piqued my interest. And I’m sure I’m not a loan

    4. Maybe what’s his name will coin a new acronym for us.

  4. This should tell you something about who’s really running the Biden administration. Obama was considered (certainly by the media) to be the most left president the country had seen since FDR. Biden is proving to be further left than Obama, much further left. Yet we all know that Biden personally, at best, a center left Democrat with sympathies squarely on the right in certain areas. His 50 years in the Senate is proof of that.

    1. Agreed. Biden has always represented the center of the Democratic Party. That he’s leaning so hard into what used to be regarded as the bleeding edge of progressive policy is telling.

  5. The modern Democratic Party’s playbook is to pretend to embrace leftist economics, but actually govern in a way that benefits the ultra-rich. So whether this person gets the job or not, Biden’s billionaire base will be just fine.

    #OBLsFirstLaw

    1. Say what you will about old Biden, but his butt has been wiped…..

      1. Fuck Joe Biden

        1. Don’t you f’kn look at me…

          Here’s to Ben

        2. There have got be other Americans named Joe Biden. That must fucking suck.

          1. No, dammit, it’s pronounced Bydeen!


  6. “Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn’t always ‘know best.'”

    Say what you will about Omarova, but she’s straight up wrong about this. I’d love to hear why she believes such an absurd thing.

    1. I’ll take “Because she’s dumber than shrike and Molly put together for $200?” Alex.

    2. The same reason Bernie Sanders thinks bread lines are good. It’s much more important to them that everyone be in the same boat, even if the boat is a leaking dingy, than in having different boats that are cabin cruisers on average.

    3. Or she has no idea what the “pay gap” actually is, which has nothing to do with men and women getting paid differently for the same job, but the fact that men and women tend toward different fields of employment and make different life choices on average. I’m sure if you had measured pay in the same way in the USSR you’d see the same kind of pay gap.

    4. It is, like most Soviet Propaganda, a fiction.

      In the Soviet Union, they legislated equal pay. However, the way you were paid was how you fit on a “Pay Grid”. Basically, they level-set your position and everyone in that same position would earn the same amount. But- and I know this will come as a shock- women tended to be concentrated on the lower ranks of the pay grid.

      “As a result, Soviet women earned between 65 to 75 percent of men’s pay (Ofer and Vinokur 1982; Katz 1997;
      Gunderson 1989).”
      https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/173508/1/wp_899.pdf

      By the way, the same fucking thing today happens at bastions of Equality like Google. They like to brag that their L6’s all earn the same range. But when people actually looked at the data, they found that this was true, but women with the same experience would be offered lower ranks than men. It seems that the people most interested in trumpeting their equality are some of the worst offenders.

      1. In the Soviet Union, they legislated equal pay.

        Indeed. And so did the United States. See the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Pub. L. No. 88-38, 77 Stat. 56 (codified at 29 U.S.C. §206(d)).

  7. Is it still redbaiting if it’s directed against an actual communist pushing communist ideas?

    1. “Of course it is. We need to listen to our political rivals (just listen mind you, they could be autistically screeching, but we MUST listen, because demagogue reasons).”

    2. I think she needs to go on a date with Helicopter Ben. Perhaps a sightseeing tour of the ocean?

  8. The same banks and trade groups that Worked Behind The Scenes to Fortify Democracy and Ensured The Proper Outcome? Isn’t this exactly what they worked so hard to achieve?

  9. Amusingly, President Joe Biden likely sees her nomination as a safer pick designed to appease moderates, given that she worked for George W. Bush’s administration.

    You’re wrong about this Liz.

    Omarova was chosen to appease the far left because Biden is going to re-nominate Jerome Powell – whom progressives led by Lizzy Warren don’t approve of.

    Which proves how out of touch progressives are. Powell is the most dovish Fed Chair in history.

  10. So she hates banks.

    Whatever she did for the Bushpigs it didn’t slow down the worst bank implosion in since the Depression.

    Can’t see what good she might be.

  11. Who gives a shit about her policy positions? She’s an Asian woman isn’t she? The confirmation vote isn’t even going to be close on this one. How many Senators are going to be willing to go on record as being racist misogynists?

    1. Racism against Asians is totally cool. Unless it’s a violent crime. Except when committed by a black person.

  12. Kazakh women have smaller brains. This is known.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVRCyELQnSw

  13. “Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn’t always ‘know best.'”

    What a disgusting human being. Pay no attention to the 100 million dead in the USSR, China, Cambodia and every other cesspool of socialism.

    Say what you will about the tenets of Joe Biden, at least they’re an ethos.

  14. “Having Americans park their money at the Fed would allow the central bank to more directly and efficiently pull the levers of monetary policy control American citizens by enabling it to credit spy on individual citizens’ accounts when there’s a supposedly compelling government interest to do so need to stimulate the economy,”

    1. yeah, no way i was getting all those tags right with no preview

  15. “JPMorgan and Citi are now lending more to a small number of ultra-high net worth clients than to their millions of credit card customers.”

    I thought credit card debt was bad.

    1. It is. Mostly for folks that can’t say “no.”

  16. Too bad Reason writers spent 4 years only caring about mean tweets.

  17. How many more CCP puppets does Biden need to appoint before people re-open the investigation into Hunter and seriously consider whether or not the President is compromised?

  18. “Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn’t always ‘know best.'”

    ‘Say what you will about WWII, some people didn’t die from it’
    Yep, there was no gender gap; everybody was poverty-stricken. This woman was probably from one of the ‘leading families’. Or just plain stupid.

    1. Posters above have shown that there was a gender gap similar to the USA, and for the same reason: women gravitate to the lower paying jobs (indoors, safe, requiring moderate physical effort or less, with sane work hours and allowing time off to deal with sick children), while men dominate both the dangerous and physically demanding jobs and the executive jobs requiring 80-hour work weeks. The USSR’s gender gap was a little larger; I guess that’s because the USA automated away more of the roughneck jobs with danger, heavy lifting, and high pay for blue collar.

  19. more CCP puppets does Biden need to appoint before people re-open the investigation Después de enamorarse del genio programador Jiang Yicheng, Lu Li se inscribe en la escuela en la que
    pan drama

  20. Well if you have to have your savings at the Fed it is very easy then to “nudge” folks into spending if politicians want to win reelection and have the Fed create artificial demand (given that works for a short time if at all but it is the gospel according to Keynes). I can see the NYT already..”Economists are blaming Americans who are too thrifty and lowering our economic growth. A tax should be put on their savings to encourage consumption”….this is just around the corner Reason and the media will support this…and you only care about abortion and open borders..one is a States issue and the second has nothing to do with ensuring my liberty

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