The Omarova omen

A capable successor to Robert Ludlum might be able to make a good novel out of The Omarova Omen — the Cornell law professor of the lunatic left thought by the minders in the White House daycare operation to be just the right person to regulate our national banks. However, it may be too late for Professor Omarova to constitute an omen. The Omarova omen has already materialized in the politics and public policy that have kicked off the dire economic trends with which we contend.

Omarova testified before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday in support of her nomination to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In his November 19 Wall Street Journal Best of the Web column “Comrade Omarova vs. Margaret Thatcher,” James Freeman picked up the perverse deceit in one strand of Omarova’s testimony:

On Thursday she was asked about a separate paper in which she sketched out a plan for government to take ownership stakes in big financial firms. “I’m with Margaret Thatcher on this one,” said Ms. Omarova, and claimed her idea was inspired by a policy of the late British prime minister’s government.

This would have been Washington’s most deceptive comment of the day if House members had not been debating the reconciliation bill. But give Ms. Omarova credit for a keen sense of irony.

In order to break socialism in the U.K., the Thatcher government had to build a political coalition to privatize inefficient and corrupt state-run industries. Thatcher became prime minister in 1979 during the Cold War. In order to overcome concerns that privatization could allow foreign actors (perhaps even ones aligned with the evil Soviet Union, where Ms. Omarova was educated) to gain control of key industries, the government typically would retain, at least for a time, a stake in the companies it was turning over to private investors.

Thatcher’s team was agreeing to let the government keep a piece of an asset as the price for getting it out of total state control and into productive private hands. Ms. Omarova is advocating a move in the opposite direction: encouraging new government participation and power in firms that are now owned by investors.

Maybe it’s not too late for Omarova to inspire a good Ludlum-style novel after all. The subhead on Freeman’s column puts the point concisely: “Some aspiring apparatchiks will say anything to seize power.”

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