Ms. Omarova is a professor of law at Cornell University.
“I had the honor of being nominated by President Biden in 2021 to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the top regulator of federally chartered banks. If confirmed, I would have been the first minority woman — an immigrant — to lead the 160-year-old agency.
It didn’t happen. The banking industry and its political allies waged a highly public campaign to block my candidacy and called my academic work, which examined the many failings of our financial system and called for stronger public oversight, “un-American.” But what ultimately sunk my chances was the fact that I openly opposed loosening regulatory restrictions on America’s banks.
Now we are living through another banking crisis. It’s too early to tell how it will play out over the next few months or what long-term impact it will have. What is already clear is that when things go bad, the American public absorbs private banks’ losses and takes on their liabilities. We are the banking system’s true residual risk holder.
That’s why it is important to start thinking about how we can address the underlying causes of recurring financial crises. There is already an emerging consensus, at least on the left, that we need to reinstate the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that mandated stricter supervision for banks with more than $50 billion in assets but were rolled back in 2018. I fully support reversing that costly mistake. Doing so wouldn’t affect a vast majority of small, truly community-serving banks. It would merely restore the enhanced oversight of those banks whose problems, as we have learned, can trigger systemic runs.”