Saule Omarova, a Kazakh-born Cornell University professor and President Joe Biden’s nominee for Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), supports radical central planning views opposed by the majority of Americans. 

The OCC is tasked with regulating national banks and federal savings associations. If Ms. Omarova is confirmed to this post, she will undoubtedly pursue collectivist policies that undermine our financial institutions. 

Omarova is an Avowed Anti-Capitalist 

“Build Back Better” will morph into “Build Back Bankrupt” if Omarova is to oversee the OCC, given her anti-capitalist Marxist views. 

As a student at Moscow State University, she wrote a thesis entitled “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital.

The university claims the sole copy of her dissertation was deleted from its archives. This leaves us without any clues into the views that could have shaped her thinking.  

Omarova’s grad school writings aren’t the only concerning things she’s said or written on the banking system. She also believes the Federal Reserve should “effectively end[ing] banking as we know it” by replacing all private bank deposits with central bank accounts.

In her October 2020 paper, The People’s Ledger: How to Democratize Money and Finance the Economy, she argued for the “comprehensive restructuring of the central bank balance sheet as the basis for redesigning the core architecture of modern finance.”

IWF Senior Fellow Carrie Sheffield correctly points out Ms. Omarova’s penchant for Soviet economics and the disdain she harbors for the banking industry. 

Sheffield observed, “Omarova showed her hostility and bias against the very banking sector she would potentially oversee, calling financial services “a quintessential asshole industry.” In a documentary with the same vulgarity in the title,” Omarova assaults what she calls “the pervasiveness of systematically asshole-type behavior” of financial services professionals who “continue to pursue their own private goals, their own insatiable appetite for private gain.””

The OCC nominee is also opposed to digital currencies. She is on the record calling the rise of cryptocurrencies “benefiting mainly the dysfunctional financial system we already have.” Digital currencies are gaining in popularity and will continue to play a role in our financial system. 

She Doesn’t Hide Her Disdain for American Industries

The United States has welcomed Ms. Omarova to this country with open arms. Yet, she boasts disdain for the very industries that allow her and us to live comfortably—instead, longing for the old Soviet policies that devastated and demoralized many of our families. (Mine included.) 

“Until I came to the US, I couldn’t imagine that things like gender pay gap still existed in today’s world. Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn’t always ‘know best.’” she tweeted in March 2019.

While delivering remarks at the Jain Family Institute’s “Social Wealth Seminar” in February, Omarova referred to coal, oil, and gas as “troubled industries” that ought to go bankrupt to combat the so-called climate crisis. 

“At least, we want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change, right?” she remarked

As IWF Center for Economic Opportunity Director Patrice Onwuka aptly noted, “Disturbingly, Omarova has a greater appreciation for the socialist policies of a failed totalitarian regime than the freedom and opportunity of the freest nation on earth.” 

Onwuka added, “Most appallingly she ignores the utter lack of freedom and human rights that women and men both suffered under the totalitarian Soviet system.  She also ignores research that shows that the gender wage gap in the U.S. is almost entirely the result of personal choices that women make in employment, education, and family. American women can choose to maximize wages or flexibility and they have far more economic opportunities here than in Omarova’s homeland.”

Bipartisan Opposition Building to Her Nomination

Conservatives aren’t the only ones alarmed by Ms. Omarova’s extreme positions. Many Senate Democrats have recently cooled on her nomination, as well. Axios lists Democratic Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Joe Manchin (R-MT) among those who oppose her. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) is reportedly skeptical too.

“I want to give her a fair shake, but I do have concerns,” Tester told POLITICO in October. 

The Montana senator, who serves on the Senate Banking Committee, recently told Fox Business, “Some of Ms. Omarova’s past statements about the role of government in the financial system raise real concerns about her ability to impartially serve at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and I’m looking forward to meeting with her to discuss them.” 


As a daughter of Lithuanian refugees who fled the USSR, I’m deeply troubled by Ms. Omarova’s disdain for free enterprise. 

Collectivist policies, if implemented, would ruin the economy and upend our financial institutions.