Friday, July 1

Senator presses OCC candidate for missing the thesis on Marxism from Moscow University

Pat Toomey, a Republican member of the United States Senate Banking Committee, is trying to pressure the nominee to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to deliver her 1989 college thesis on Karl Marx.

The Biden administration formally appointed Kazakh-born lawyer Saule Omarova, who has been characterized by critics as anti-banking and anti-crypto, to head the financial regulator on September 29. In vague echoes of McCarthyism, Toomey believes that the thesis may show that Omarova is sympathetic to Marxist views.

While Omarova has lived in the US since 1991 and previously served as an advisor to George W. Bush, she previously attended Moscow State University during 1988 and 1989 on the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship.

In an open letter to Omarova published on October 5, Toomey reclaimed that he had removed the reference to his thesis “The Economic Analysis of Karl Marx and The Theory of the Revolution in the Capital” from his current curriculum at Cornell Law School, adding that the document was listed on his resume at April 2017.

The archived resume indicates that the article was written as part of Omarova’s diploma with honors in philosophy. Toomey says he is requesting the document so that the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs can “fully assess the fitness of individuals for Senate-confirmed independent agency and executive positions.”

He said that committee staff had first requested the document from Omarova in September, but “we have not received any guarantee that the committee will receive a copy of the document in a timely manner.”

The Biden administration has come under fire for Omarova’s nomination, with critics pointing to her 2020 statements encouraging lawmakers to “effectively end banking as we know it.” Omarova has also characterized cryptocurrency as a symptom of the existing “dysfunctional financial system.”

However, Democrats have praised Biden’s pick for the nomination, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren. describing Omarova as “an excellent option to supervise and regulate the activities of the largest banks in our nation.”

Speaking to the committee on October 5, Toomey described Omarova as an extreme “radical” whose recent political recipes have included state-directed prices for wages and goods, the nationalization of the retail banking industry, and a “general aversion to anything like free-market capitalism.” He continued:

“In 2019, she tweeted, ‘Say what you want about the former USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. The market doesn’t always know the best […] Ms. Omarova clearly knows that her views are far outside the mainstream. ”

Senator Ted Cruz also targeted Omarova for the possible threat it can pose to cryptocurrencies. tweeting: “Not only is Saule Omarova, Biden’s choice to lead the OCC, is a threat to our traditional economy, but he also wants to regulate cryptocurrencies into oblivion. Crypto faces government regulations that define the future. This nomination must stop. “