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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rick Santelli's "Chicago Tea Party in July" Rant of the Year

This rant by Rick Santelli on CNBC was great! It could launch his political career .
  • Rick asks if we should reward people who carry the water rather than drink the water?
  • "How many people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills? Raise your hand! "

  • "We're thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July!"

  • "The government should spend a trillion dollars an hour so we get 1.5 trillion back!"
Quote from the CBOE trading floor:
The reason this has hit such a nerve with so many is that the light bulb finally came on for millions: this whole game is about redistribution of wealth. First to the pigmen, then out of the pockets of the collapsing middle class and into the black hole of social welfare. It's about the disenfranchisement of the posterity of our formerly Constitutional republic.

Revolution time is almost here. Thanks, Rick.
From CNBC:


Rick Santelli joined CNBC Business News as on-air editor in June 1999, reporting live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. His focus is primarily on interest rates, foreign exchange, and the Federal Reserve.

A veteran trader and financial executive, Santelli has provided live reports on the markets in print and on local and national radio and television. He joined CNBC from the Institutional Financial Futures and Options at Sanwa Futures, L.L.C. There, he was a vice president handling institutional trading and hedge accounts for a variety of futures related products.

Prior to that, Santelli worked as vice president of Institutional Futures and Options at Rand Financial Services, Inc., served as managing director at the Derivative Products Group of Geldermann, Inc., and was Vice President in charge of Interest Rate Futures and Options at the Chicago Board of Trade for Drexel, Burnham, Lambert. Santelli began his career in 1979 as a trader and order filler at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in a variety of markets including gold, lumber, CD's, T-bills, foreign currencies and livestock.

He is a graduate of the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana with a Bachelor of Science degree. Santelli has been a member of both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.


  1. When Santelli has been unemployed for a few months like a lot of the people his friends have already put there, let's see what tune he sings. He's not bemoaning the dollars put into the investment banks that all but arm wrestled half the people with now-failing mortgages into them, nor the billions going into the bonus, perk and parachute packages of the f--- ups who falsified their balance sheets and mismanaged their firms into failure, I notice. Even though the total billions in those packages would alone bail out most of the salvagable mortgages.And don't lay it at the feet of the Communitity Reinvestment Act, either --the banks went far beyond the letter or intent of that legislation but used it as a pretext to engage in predatory lending practices. There may have been individual politicians and cognizant agencies that didn't do their jobs, but the banks and investment bankers et al. in the financial arena were simply playing the "one more sucker game, and they knew it, all the while pushing back against the "naysayers" claiming that they and only they were sufficiently sophistocated to understand the intricacies of their world, and keep the He-- out of it, thank you very much. Bush and his cadre were right there, kicking the regulators feet out from under them the entire time. I recently retired from a federal regulatory agency, and believe me, that's the way it went down.

  2. Maybe this is harsh, but if CEOs who get TARP money have to do without their holidays and plane rides, maybe bad debtors who get taxpayer bailout help with their mortgages ought to have to surrender their passports.

    No holidays until they've repaid everything they've been loaned/given.

    That would help them save.

    Moreover, let's give --or lease-- each one of them a new, small, electric or fuel efficient car made by GM or Fiat/Chrysler.

    Limit their mileage to 6,000 miles a year. That would help save GM and Chrysler (the Government would pay the car companies for the Fiats and Opels).

    The reduced mileage would help save the roads and the planet and the CAFE standards.

    I'm for treating those who need mortgage help like CEOS!

  3. I will be at the "Tea Party" This idea is right on and I am taking this very seriously.

  4. It is one-sided, considering that Wall Street set up a whole industry to push subprime mortgages, often with dishonest hard-sell tactics to the financially-illiterate, packaging them into securities, grouping those securities into CDOs, issuing CDSs for the CDOs, then issuing CDSDs off of the CDSs, with generous fees at every step.

    All are at fault, but I am more sympathetic towards someone about to lose their home than towards a John Thain-type who feels entitled to a $10 million bonus from TARP funds.

  5. I have to say, that while I too find a bit of the outrage that Rick is channeling (and others on CNBC for that matter. How can people call these guys liberals again??), I have to take exception to some of it.

    What first struck me after listening to Santelli's rant was, 'okay Rick, that's great, but where was the press and all you informed insiders when the banks and everybody else were making money you KNEW they couldn't sustain????' Why no outrage in the media about how THEY missed the big one right along with the crippled regulators? Or the FED, who in Greenspan's later years in the job systematically chose NOT to enforce lending standards? Never trust to media to turn a critical eye to itself, only to others. Hell, Fortune magazine has been publishing indepth articles on the black science of CDO's and what not for well over a year, but I haven't seen much of that show up in any of the TV punditry.

    Friend, whether your mortgage is the one in the crapper or not is now inmaterial. The fact of the matter is we ALL fell asleep as the switch: regulatory, media, investor, etc.

    We were in a drunken, the market must always go up and go up double digits a year stupor, and now that the crack is off the table everybody's going into withdrawal. If this nasty psychology keeps griping the market, soon your nice neighborhood won't be safe from enough foreclosures to keep your house from being under water too.

    I don't know if I agree with the Obama plan for this yet, but I haven't seen anything else offered by anybody else to date to even to have a constructive debate about it.

    And sorry guys, say all you want, but Barack Obama ain't no Hugo Chavez.

  6. NRO Talks to CNBC's Rick Santelli [Stephen Spruiell]

    Earlier today, Kathryn posted a link to the video of CNBC's Rick Santelli giving voice to what he described as a groundswell of discontent over the president's new mortgage plan. I caught up with Santelli just moments ago and talked to him about what he says has been "kind of a crazy day."

    National Review Online: Were you expecting anything like this reaction?

    Rick Santelli: Not at all, not at all. It was just, after 48 hours of listening to hundreds of people trying to approach me on floors, on trains, everywhere, the opinions were almost unanimous, and I just tried to pick up that thread. The pits weren't open at the time and the traders that were on the floor getting ready for the opening all started to gravitate to where I was talking, and it just took on a life of its own.

    NRO: When we posted a link to the video, we were swamped with e-mails in support, including a couple from traders at the Board of Trade in Chicago, who have been saying right on. How have the e-mails that you've been getting, how have they been running?

    Santelli: I'll be honest with you, I think I've gotten somewhere between 850-900, and I think I had three that were negative.

    NRO: What are that small group of critics saying? Where do they think you went wrong?

    Santelli: They thought I was uncharitable, got up on the wrong side of the bed, had no compassion for people who are going through rough times, and that isn't at all the issue. The issue is, you can't pick out 8 or 9 percent and give them things that weaken the 90 or 92 percent who are carrying the water. You need to come up with legislation that may help the people that need it but not hurt the people that… listen, my 401k's a 201k, my kid's college tuition is going up 10 percent. This is tough for everybody. Maybe a tax break, maybe everybody who has a house gets something. They need to quit picking winners and losers, and they have to quit alienating the classes. You have to figure out a way to float all boats, and I think that's where the administration has gone wrong, and I think that's the nerve I hit.

    NRO: You were also skeptical of the original bailout plan, specifically the way that it seemed to be a "Let's rush through this and figure out the details later" kind of approach. Do you think your predictions on that have been borne out by events?

    Santelli: I remember this all started roughly in the summer of '07, and at that point, that Halloween that followed in '07, I think I said something like, Frankenstein derivatives aren't going to be resuscitated. These bad positions are going to hang around until they're taken out. As an ex-trader—I traded for 20 years—bad positions don't go away. There's not enough money for many of these banks to sell them, because of what it does to their balance sheets. At the end of the day, whether it's housing or whether it's toxic derivatives, I just don't think you can spend your way into correcting something that's going to be painful and make it not painful. So I think I've been kind of spot-on in many ways as to the spending plans.

    At the end of the day, it's simple. A lot of the president's advisers are saying that there's a multiplier effect to the government money, and it's over one. Now if that's true, then the government should spend non-stop for the rest of our lives, because we'll get a positive return. And it makes no sense.

    NRO: Right. And now it seems we passed this bailout bill without specifying any of the details, it's kind of become a blank check, and they say that Barack Obama can do something like 80 percent of his homeowner-assistance plan without even asking Congress. So how do you think that plays out in the future?

    Santelli: I guess in the end, I believe in the founding fathers, and I believe that in America... the pursuit of happiness and to work hard and keep the fruits of your labor is something I believe in. And I'm not saying we should forget people who need help. But at the end of the day, Americans are strong and they're charitable. I think what they have a problem with is that it's force-fed via the government.

  7. Some Comments posted on other boards:

    The plan is a discrace! I pay my mortgage and bills on time. I live on a fixed income. I find it tough each month to make ends meet, but do. I did not go out and buy a home I could not afford. No one is helping ME! The Bleeding heart Democrats might as well give the country away. God Bless Rick Santelli!! —Steve

    Why are the very people who never seem to do the right things, being rewarded with my tax dollars? This country has come to the point where there is no incentive to do what's right! ... The government should be rewarding the successful people, not making them out to be the villain and confiscating their tax dollars,to redistribute it to the people living above their means! — David

    Here is the message Obama and Congress are sending: Work hard, pay your bills on time, and you will be penalized by having your hard-earned money reward those who wallow in irresponsibility and have a total disdain for those who play by the rules. — Kathy

    The Obama housing plan is absolutely ridiculous. As a disabled person, I could not afford to buy a home after housing prices took off. To think that if I had bought above my means the government would have paid my mortgage makes me now feel like a jerk. — Rob

    I paid off my mortgage this month. What a mistake, I should have just sat back and demanded that the government [taxpayers] help me. I'm being punished for being successful and doing what was once deemed right. — Don

    It's not fair to the TAXPAYERS! We'll never get out of this mess! We need to get back to the ones, that started this mess. They need to ALL go to prison! — Betty

  8. It's not a question of sympathy here, or of bailing out greedy homeowners, or of bailing out the greedy banks either. (And there's plenty of blame to go around--I agree with Michael.) Right now the economy is going down the tubes faster than I can write this, and something has to be done to stop it, for all our sakes. Self righteousness is an indulgence we
    can ill afford right now. The administration has an economy to save, moral hazard be damned. Later we have to make new rules. Ever since Reagan cut taxes and increased spending (and the Democrats went along with it) we've been running a big Ponzi scheme. It's caught up with us. Clearly history has
    taught us that neither pure socialism nor pure fundamentalist market capitalism is stable in the long run. A free market system with rules, along with many social benefits to ease the inequities of the free market, is what we need to aim for. Ups and downs are fine, but this crashing is good for no one.

  9. Gibbs Takes on Santelli

    Anger among homeowners about President Obama's foreclosure bailout plan boiled up to the White House today as press secretary Robert Gibbs unleashed a barrage of criticism at a former trader whose rants against the plan this week have made him a cable and Internet phenomenon.

    Rick Santelli, a CNBC reporter who exploded in a tirade this week from the Chicago Board of Trade, has accused the president of crafting a housing bailout that is unfair to the millions of people who bought a house responsibly and have been making their mortgage payments.

    "Government is promoting bad behavior," Santelli said on his network (see video, above). "Do we really want to subsidize the losers' mortgages?"

    He continued: "This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage? . . . President Obama, are you listening?"

    Later, in a video that has become a YouTube sensation, Santelli called for Obama to put his plan to an Internet referendum and called for a new Tea Party to protest the housing plan.

    "President Obama! Are you listening?" Santelli demanded.

    Apparently someone in the White House was. In response, Gibbs attacked Santelli by name repeatedly, accusing him of not having read the president's housing plan and mocking the former derivatives trader as not being an effective spokesman for the little guy.

    "I'm not entirely sure where Mr. Santelli lives or in what house he lives," Gibbs told reporters, his voice dripping with derision. "Mr. Santelli has argued -- I think quite wrongly -- that this plan won't help everyone. This plan will help, by the money that's invested in Freddie and Fannie, will drive down mortgage rates for millions of Americans."

    Later, Gibbs added: "Now, every day when I come out here, I spend a little time reading, studying on the issues, asking people who are smarter than I am questions about those issues. I would encourage him to read the president's plan and understand that it will help millions of people, many of whom he knows. I'd be more than happy to have him come here and read it. I'd be happy to buy him a cup of coffee, decaf."

    The exchange underscores the potential for a new wave of class warfare as the president unveils economic plans that reward some people, often at the expense of others and without regard to who is most responsible for the economic downturn.

    The stimulus plan that Obama pushed through Congress largely avoided that kind of fight. But the housing plan -- which targets up to 9 million homeowners for help -- has quickly become a focal point for homeowners who are paying their mortgages but still struggle economically.

    Gibbs' response also indicates that the White House is particularly sensitive to the attack that they are unconcerned with the people who have been acting responsibly as the economy crashed. The president has repeatedly said he is looking for a new era of responsibility, a phrase that he used in his inaugural speech.

    In his response, Gibbs insisted that the plan will not help people who acted irresponsibly.

    "It won't help somebody trying to flip a house. It won't bail out an investor looking to make a quick buck," Gibbs said. "It won't help speculators that were betting on a risky market. And it is not going to help a lender who knowingly made a bad loan."

    And he used unusually direct language in criticizing an individual from the briefing podium.

    "I think we left a few months ago the -- the adage that, if it was good for a derivatives trader, that it was good for Main Street. I think the verdict is in on that," Gibbs said.

    He ended by holding up the president's housing plan -- an indication that he had planned his response in advance, expecting a question about Santelli.

    "Let me do this, too," Gibbs said. "This is a copy of the president's home affordability plan. It's available on the White House Web site, and I would encourage him, download it, hit print, and begin to read it."

    Santelli, appearing on CNBC today quickly after Gibbs' comments, appeared to be enjoying the attention.

    "This is exactly what we want. They are making things clear," Santelli -- who was hardly a household name 48 hours ago -- said. "If you listen to the clip yesterday, we never referred to any specifics. It was the notion of not going down the road subsidizing other people's
    mortgages. I think its terrific that this has been opened up to national debate."

    He added: "I think its wonderful that he invited me to the White House. I'm not really big on decaf though. I think I prefer tea."

  10. Rick is one of the few guys on CNBC that is worth a crap to listen to. If I was near the tea party I would attend.

  11. Rick's comments are right on. As far as Bernanke's comments are concerned. I don't believe there will be any recovery soon especially since we are trying to spend our way out of this recession. That has never worked in the past.


  12. Ok, so Rick Santelli says everyone on the train thinks he's right on. No doubt. I rode the same trains for 23 years and I suspect the particular train he rides is comprised almost entirely of traders, as they are about the only ones who get off in the mid-afternoon. But what kind of an opinion poll is that? Who but other traders are likely to even know him? Most people riding Metra don't know or speak to anyone else on the train for the entire trip. Besides, the majority of people on the Chicago Metra lines are well-off professionals, not the working class grunts that both make up the majority of those holding subprime mortgages and are the people who do the real work that actually powers our economic engine.

    I'm frankly tired of the charges of "class warfare" and "redistribution of wealth" disingenuously levied by the "haves and have mores" (as W called them) whenever anyone suggests a progressive change to the taxation structure or expanding social benefits. These same people seem to not have noticed the massive redistribution of wealth that has occurred since the regressive taxation changes of Reagan and Bush were implemented. They still are heeding the siren song of supply-side/trickle-down economics, which claims that by directing wealth to the wealthy, they will use it to create jobs. We have been feeding that beast for nearly 30 years, now where are all those jobs? Why should the pain in this "adjustment" be felt most keenly by those who have not been at head of the gravy train? He reveals his contempt for those "losers" who are losing their home, but none for the amoral sharks that sold those mortgages. And why should he? Chances are his friends and neighbors were all profiting form their phony largess while they traded thos same assets and derivatives.

    Yes, one can make the case that there's plenty of blame to go around, and you hear that statement emanating a lot from the financial sector and right wing bloviators these days. But there's such a thing as proportionality, and I long ago learned that as soon as I hear someone saying that, I should suspect the speaker as likely to be among those most worthy of that blame.


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