Contact: Johanna Kichton, 202.660.0605, [email protected]
WASHINGTON, D.C.—People’s Action Deputy Director Bree Carlson today released the following statement in response to news reports that President Biden is expected to appoint Michael Barr to lead the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC):
“Millions of people face foreclosures and evictions, the loss of their businesses and farms, and historic levels of unemployment. We need someone to steer our financial system through this crisis and make sure it will work for everyone.
“That’s why it’s hard to imagine a worse pick than Michael Barr to be the nation’s top bank regulator. Barr is deeply invested in the Wall Street and Silicon Valley corporations he would regulate, which should disqualify him from the outset. On top of that, in the wake of the 2008 financial crash, Barr helped lead the failed response to the crisis and bailed out banks instead of everyday people.
“President Biden must prove to voters that the government cares about all of us, not just wealthy elites. If Biden truly wants to ‘Build Back Better’ he needs to lock the revolving door and ensure no one with ties to the financial industry is in charge of regulating it.
“Mehrsa Baradaran is the type of person we need heading the OCC. She’s an eminently qualified woman of color who wrote the book on how the financial industry harms working families. Instead of repeating history, Biden should make it by appointing Baradaran.”
People’s Action is a national network of 37 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations united in fighting for justice. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. People’s Action and its member organizations coordinated one of the biggest distributed organizing programs in rural areas this election season.